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ST. JOHN, N. B: 

Entered according to the Act of Parliament of Canada, in the 
year one thousand eight hundred and ninety -seven, by 

at the Department of Agriculture, Ottawa. 



Birth of Sir Leonard Tilley. Population of New Brunswick in 
1818. The Loyalists. Houses of the people. How the 
people lived. Cooking arrangements. The crops they pro- 
duced. How the people dressed. Furniture of the houses. 
Agricultural implements. Wheeled vehicles. The roads 
of the Province. Means of travelling. Steamboats. The 
General Smyth. Market boats. Packet schooners. Hotels- 
Education in a low state. Poorly paid teachers. School 
grants. Grammar schools. The college. The Madras 
System. Religion. The Church of England. Favored by 
the authorities. The tone of society. The official class. 
Duelling. The post office. Newspapers. The timber 
trade. Duties on Baltic timber. Drinking customs. The 
use of rum universal. Large consumption of liquors. 


Political condition of New Brunswick in 1818. The Provincial 
Constitution. Qualification of voters Elections by open 
voting. Functions of the Council. Hereditary office hold- 
ers. Large powers of the governor. How popular measures 
were defeated. The family compact. Conflicts between 
the Assembly and the Council. The Imperial Customs 
establishment. Enormous fees on shipping. The lands of 
the Province controlled by the Imperial Government. 
Large fees on land grants. Timber licenses illegally 
exacted. Abuse of executive responsibility. Predominence 
of the Church of England. Office holders in the legislature. 
The boundary question with the United States. Rights of 
United States fishermen. The Provincial revenue. 



Agitation for a better system of government. The Loyalists in 
control of the government. Misuse of the term " loyalty." 
A war of pamphlets. How the governors lectured the 
Assembly. Governor Smyth's address in 1820. New 
Brunswick takes a hand in British politics. Agitation 
against the excessive fees on crown grants. The Council 
refuse to assist the Assembly. The Dissenters Marriage 
Bill. Opposed by the Council, but became law in 1834. 
Agitation against trade restrictions. The Imperial duties. 
Large customs salaries. Resolution against them in the 
Assembly. The Council against all reform. The Customs 
Act of 1835. The end of the Imperial customs establish- 
ment in 1848. Change in the constitution of the Council 
it is deprived of its executive powers. Publication of 
the Council's proceedings. 


The casual and territorial revenue Abuses connected with the 
Crown -Land department. Quit rents abolished. Reserved 
lands for the navy. Bonds for timber licenses. Strong 
resolutions of the Assembly in 1819. Governor Smyth 
dissolves the Legislature in a pet. Progress of the agita- 
tion. The timber bonds cancelled in 1827. Agitation for 
the control of the crown Ian-Is. Insolent dispatch of 
Lord Goderich. Return of crown lan^ revenues. Deputa- 
tions to England on the subject. The Civil List Bill. Sir 
Archibald Campbell creates difficulties and is recalled. The 
Province obtains the control of its crown lands in 1837. 
Provisions of the Civil List Bill. 


The Province becomes affluent. Bad system of appropriating 
money. The agitation for responsible government. The 
Assembly refuses to surrender the initiation of money 
grants Earl Grey's despatch on the subject in 1847. The 
Assembly passes Mr Fisher's resolution. Composition of 
the Legislative Council. New appointments made. Power 


of the governor to make appointments. Sir Charles Met- 
calfe's conduct applauded in New Brunswick. The Reade 
appointment in 1845. Indignation of the family compact. 
The Assembly passes an address to the Queen on the sub- 
ject. The appoiniment cancelled. The Wilmot appoint- 
ment to the bench. The battle of responsible government 


Sir Leonard Tilley's ancestry. His great grandfather a loyalist. 
His grandfather and father. Place of birth. Education. 
Anecdote of Sir Howard Douglas. Goes to St. John in 1831. 
His business life. Became a total abstainer. The election 
of 1850. Mr. Tilley elected to the legislature. Some of 
his colleagues : L. A. Wilmot, Charles Fisher, W. H. Need- 
hain, W. J. Ritchie, John H. Gray, R. D. Wilmot, John R. 
Partelow. The government still Tory. Gray and Wilmot 
enter it. A new education bill. The college. Mr. Hitchie's 
resolution. The St. John bye-election. Mr. Tilley resigns 
his seat. Railway resolutions. The reciprocity treaty. 
General election of 1854 . Mr. Tilley again elected to the 
legislature. Defeat of the Street-Partelow government. 
New government formed by Mr. Fisher. Mr. Tilley 
becomes Provincial Secretary. Responsible government 
becomes a reality. 


The prohibitory liquor law. A bold experiment. Strength of 
the liquor interest. The governor dissolves the legislature. 
Defeat of Mr. Tilley in St. John. A new government 
formed by Messrs. Gray and Wilmot. The election of 
1857. Mr. Tilley returned for St. John city. Joins Mr. 
Fisher in the formation of a government. A strong 
administration. Railway legislation. The Intercolonial 
negotiations. Immigration. State of the finances. Com- 
pletion of the railway from St. John to Phediac. Voting 
by ballot. Re-organization of the college. The Connell 
episode. The crown lands investigation. The general 
election of 1861. 



The Intercolonial Railway conferences. The Trent affair. Mr. 
Howe's letter. The Duke of Newcastle's reply. The rail- 
way terms arranged. Canada declines to pass the neces- 
sary legislation. 


The Confederation question. Lord Durham. Views of the people. 
The Hon. Joseph Howe. Policy of the British government. 
Growth of the feelii g in favor of a union of the colonies. 
The Railway Facility Act. Maritime union. The legisla- 
ture of Canada's visit to the Maritime Provinces. The 
deadlock in Canada. Confederation the only remedy. The 
Charlottetown convention. Its capture by the Canadian 
delegates. 1 he Quebec convention. A scheme of union 
arranged. The objections raised against it. Dissolution of 
the New Brunswick Legislature. Defeat of the Confedera- 
tion scheme. Mr. Tilley beaten in St. John. The Smith- 
Anglin government formed. Dissensions in its ranks. 
Resignation of Mr. Anglin. Mr. Packard's defeat in York. 


Lieutenant-governor Gordon. The Fenian movement. Threats 
of invasion. The meeting of the legislature in 1866. Con- 
federation paragraph in the speech from the throne. 
Attitude of the Legislative Council. A. R. Wetmore deserts 
the anti-confederation party. Debate on the address in 
the house. Resignation of the government. The corres- 
pondence between the governor and his advisers. The 
Fenian invasion. A new government formed. Mr. Tilley 
again Provincial Secretary. The general elections. 
Triumph of Confederation at the polls. Mr. Tilley's part in 
the victory. His able speeches his personal magnetism. 
The new legislature. Confederation resolutions in the 
House of Assembly, The debate upon them. Mr. Skinner's 
attitude. Delegates to go to England to arrange terms of 



The London conference. The British North America Act. The 
last session of the old legislature. The first Dominion 
government formed. Mr. Tilley becomes Minister of 
Customs. The election. Mr. Tilley returned for St. John. 
The first parliament of Canada and its work. 


Mr. Tilley appointed lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. 
The Pacific Scandal. Mr. Tilley 's life as governor. His 
total abstinence principles. The election of 1878. He is 
re-elected for St. John city. Becomes a member of the 
new government of Sir John A. Macdonald. His speech 
on the National Policy. His second term as Lieutenant 


Sir Leonard Tilley's last illness and death. His interest in the 
general election. Universal sympathy and regret at his 
decease. His funeral. Comments of the St. John press. 


Sir Leonard Tilley's home life. His love of old friends. His 
religious views. Interest in philanthropic objects. His 
last visit to England. His family. Lady Tilley. Her 
active efforts in the cause of humanity. Carleton House. 


This work was commenced some six years ago, for 
the purpose of relating, in a brief space, the political 
history of New Brunswick, during the period of Sir 
Leonard Tilley's life, and telling the story of a New 
Brunswick public man, who was a member of the first 
government under the responsible system, and who 
attained to a greater distinction, both in his own province 
and in Canada, than any other statesman whom New 
Brunswick has yet produced. The story of the battle 
for responsible government has not before been told in 
any book that has been published in this province, yet 
New Brunswick's share in that struggle was a most 
interesting phase of a contest which was waged in every 
one of the provinces that formed the original Dominion 
of Canada. It is the story of the progress of a people 
from political infancy to a political manhood, and no 
person who is not informed in regard to it, can have any 
idea of the real worth of the institutions under which he 
lives, or of the blessings which he enjoys under a system 
of government which tolerates no privileged class, and 
places all men upon an equal footing. 

Sir Leonard Tilley was not born early enough to take 
any conspicuous part in the contest for responsible gov- 
ernment, but he was a member of the administration 
which first worked it out in practice, and he was, during 


the whole of his public career, one of its most strenuous 
supporters and advocates. The opposition which he met 
with, as a public man, in the early part of his career, was 
the opposition of those who were opposed to responsible 
government, and who used all sorts of contemptuous 
phrases in describing the new system which had come 
into force, and which has done so much to strengthen the 
loyalty of the people of Canada to the mother country. 
His life is, therefore, united to the story of the growth of 
responsible government, and is now given to the people 
of this province, in the hope that it will lead to a closer 
study of their own political history, and of the lives of the 
distinguished men who have taken a conspicuous part 
in it. 

In preparing this life of Sir Leonard Til ley, the author 
had the advantage of his active assistance in the collec- 
tion of the necessary documents, both public and private, 
which were used for that purpose. Sir Leonard also 
granted the author numerous private interviews, and was 
at all times accessible for the purpose of answering any 
question which might be propounded to him on the sub- 
jects connected with this book. At the same time it 
ought to be stated that no portion of this volume was 
ever submitted to him for approval or otherwise, and 
that, therefore, he is not in any sense responsible for any 
of the opinions which are expressed in it, either in regard 
to political questions or the characters of public men. 
The writer felt that, in preparing a work of this kind, he 
should not be hampered by the supervision of any other 
person, and that it would have been embarrassing to him- 
self, and to the distinguished person whose life he com- 


memorates, if it had been revised by the latter, and he 
had been made in any sense responsible for it. 

It was intended that this book should have appeared in 
the year 1891, and a considerable portion of it was 
actually printed at that date, but circumstances which 
need not be mentioned here, prevented its publication at 
that time, and this will account for one or two references 
in it to dates which seem to imply an earlier publication 
than the present one. It was also expected that this 
volume should have made its appearance during the life 
of Sir Leonard Tilley, and it would, under any circum- 
stances, have been published during the present year, but 
his sudden death, which was wholly unexpected, changed 
all this, and made it necessary to add to the story of his 
life an account of his lamented death. It may be added 
that this Life of Sir Leonard Tilley is not written from 
the point of view of one who believed that he was always 
right in everything he did. The author was with him in 
the great struggle for Confederation, and he was decidedly 
opposed to him with respect to the National Policy. So 
far as possible, however, there has been no controversial 
matter introduced into this volume in regard to any 
question which can now be considered as a live one, of 
which is likely to be again fought out at the polls. 





WICK IN 1818. 

Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, who was destined to be 
twice Finance Minister of Canada, and twice Lieutenant 
Governor of New Brunswick, was born at Gagetown, in 
the County of Queens and Province of New Brunswick 
on the 8th May, 1818. At that time New Brunswick 
had existed as a separate province for thirty-four years, 
and thirty-five years had elapsed since the arrival of the 
first great immigration of loyalists at St. John. Only 
fifty-six years before, the first English settlers of New 
Brunswick had reached the mouth of the St. John river, 


and the township of Maugerville, the oldest agricultural 
settlement in New Brunswick, only dated back fifty-five 
years. The Province was young not only in years but 
in character; it was undeveloped and unprosperous, polit- 
ically and economically. It becomes necessary, therefore, 
to a right understanding of the career of the subject of 
our biography, to describe the condition of New Bruns- 
wick at the date of his birth, and the social and political 
state of its people. Any one who imagines that life in 
New Brunswick in 1818 was at all like what it is in 
1891 will be guilty of a grievous error, for changes of 
the most revolutionary character have taken place in re- 
spect to almost everything which enters into the lives of 
the people. 

In 1818 the population of the province did not exceed 
50,000 souls. The first census was taken in 1824, when 
it was found that New Brunswick had 74,176 inhab- 
itants. But the immigration had been large between 1818 
and the year of the census, so that the population in 1818 
was probably less than the figure named. The city of 
St. John at that period had fewer than 6,000 inhabitants, 
and the entire county, including Portland, and exclusive 
of the city, not more than 3,000 persons. Fredericton 
had then a population of about 1,500 or less than one 
fourth its present number. The entire County of York, in- 
cluding the capital of the Province, had not more than 8000 
people. Northumberland with about 12,000 inhabitants 
was the most populous county, but its area then includ- 
ed what is now Kent, Gloucester and Eestigouche. 


Westmoreland, which included the territory which is now 
Albert county, had 6,000 inhabitants, and Charlotte 
about the same number. The County of Queens in 
which Sir Leonard Tilley was born had not more than 
4,000 people. It was the day of small things in New 
Brunswick, seventy-three years ago. 

The population of New Brunswick was much more 
homogeneous in 1818 than it is at present. The original 
settlers were from Massachusetts and largely came from 
a stock which had been settled in New England for a 
century or more at the time of their emigration to the River 
St. John in 1762 and 1763. The Simondses, Hazens, 
Burpees, Perleys, Coys, Barkers, Whites, Quintons and 
other families which then settled in New Brunswick were 
all of New England growth, and brought with them the 
peculiarities and customs which prevailed among the 
people who were settled around Massachusetts Bay. 
The Loyalist immigration largely added to the number of 
persons from New England, but it also introduced a still 
greater number from New York, the Middle States and 
the South. Still the stock was mainly English and sub- 
stantially the same in origin as that which came from 
New England, although differing from it in some minor 
points of custom and speech. The only elements that 
came in the Loyalist immigration which differed radical- 
ly from the old stock were the disbanded soldiers of the 
regiments raised in the British Islands, and a few Hes- 
sians who preferred to remain on this side of the Atlantic 
rather than trust themselves again to the tender mercies 


of their hereditary prince. It was not until 1817 that 
the immigration to New Brunswick from the United 
Kingdom commenced which was destined so materially 
to modify the character of our population. This immi- 
gration has now practically ceased or rather has become 
insignificant in proportion to the number of natives, so 
that the population of New Brunswick has again largely 
grown to be a native one, and its characteristics are becom- 
ing fixed. The old struggle between the Loyalist element 
and the new comers has ceased; numerous inter-mar- 
riages with Loyalist families have immensely added to the 
number of those who claim descent from the immigrants 
of 1783, and, except where religion is involved, race ani- 
mosities have died away. But throughout the greater 
part of Sir Leonard Tilley's career these race animosities 
were active and potent and exercised no small influence 
on the politics of the Province. 

In 1818 the homes of the people of New Brunswick 
presented a marked contrast to their present aspect. In 
the cities, wood was the universal building material, the 
number of buildings of brick and stone being so few as to 
be hardly worthy of mention. St. John did not possess 
a single brick residence until the year 1817, when the 
Disbrow house on the corner of Germain and Church 
streets was built. The great majority of the residences 
were quite plain in appearance and not too well provided 
with conveniences. Bath rooms were hardly known; 
there were no sewers worthy of the name, and the sup- 
ply of water for domestic use had to be obtained from 


wells. In 1818, and for many years afterwards, water 
was hawked about the streets of St. John at a half penny 
a pail. The houses of the better class in the cities were 
generally two stories in height with a high pitch roof. 
Some of these buildings exist at the present day and en- 
able a striking contrast to be drawn between the best 
houses of that age and of this. A few very rich men, 
however, who were ambitious to have fine mansions, 
erected houses of a more pretentious character shortly 
after the era of which I have been speaking. The 
Wright house, built by the collector of the port of St. 
John in 1819, was the finest of these, but it was 
destroyed in the great fire of 1877. The Peters house 
on Coburg street, which was built by Attorney General 
Peters, and is now owned by the Hatheway family, is 
almost the only survivor of the better class of houses of 
that day. Both of these mansions were built of stone. 
The Hazen house, on the corner of Charlotte street and 
King Square, which is now the Hotel Dufferin, is another 
survivor of that time. 

The average country house of the year 1818 in the old- 
er settled parts of the Province was a story and half 
wooden building with a narrow hall in the middle, giv- 
ing four rooms on each floor. A high chimney with two 
or more fire-places connected with it afforded the means 
of heating the kitchen and sitting rooms. These great 
fire-places were very pleasant to look at when the fire 
was blazing brightly, and in moderate weather in winter 
were not uncomfortable. But when the mercury fell to 


zero and the cold winds whistled about the unsheltered 
house, the fire-place as a means of heating failed. The 
hapless individual who sought it for warmth was roasted 
on one side and frozen on the other. The only 
thing the fire-place insured was good ventilation, and 
the great majority of country houses were quite too well 
provided in this respect, and admitted the cold air with 
a degree of freedom which was very unfavorable to the 
comfort of their inhabitants. In the newer settlements 
log houses predominated and they were still more 
uncomfortable than those just described. Only a vast 
consumption of fuel, which was everywhere abundant, 
rendered them habitable. 

All the cooking of those days was done at the big fire- 
place. A swinging crane hung over the fire and it was 
provided with hooks of various lengths upon which the 
pots could be hang. Bread was baked and meat cooked 
in a large flat pot with a cover which was known as the 
bake-kettle, and with a good fire and plenty of live coals 
on the hearth, where the bake-kettle was placed, and on 
the cover of this important utensil, the cooking was usu- 
ally well done. But with this system cooking of all 
kinds was extremely laborious. The fire-place itself 
was frequently five feet in width and the back-log which 
formed the basis of the fire, and without which a good 
fire could not be built, was generally so huge and heavy 
that it could not be lifted but had to be rolled into its 
place. Swinging a heavy pot filled with potatoes on to 
the crane was laborious work, and required lifting powers 


beyond the strength of ordinary women. When the farm 
was extensive and large quantities of food had to be 
cooked, not only for the persons who lived and worked 
upon it but for the cattle and pigs, the work of the 
women became so heavy that it was injurious to their 
health and made them prematurely old. There is a be- 
lief in many quarters that the people of that time lived 
better and reached a more vigorous age than those of the 
present day are likely to attain, but this is a delusion. 
The few rugged survivors of the period of which I have 
been speaking are no more to be taken as types of the 
average individual of that time than some Hercules of 
the present day is to be taken as a sample of the average 
man. It is one of the beneficent consequences of our im- 
proved way of living that the weakly and frail now have 
a chance of existence, and, although their, lives may not be 
prolonged to great age, they can do much good work 
for themselves and for the world while they are with us. 
Seventy years ago the people of New Brunswick were 
neither so well fed nor so well clad as they are at present. 
The farmers of those days grew a great deal of Indian 
corn and this grain entered very largely into the food of 
the people. Among working men corn meal porridge 
was much used, and at many of their meals it was the 
principal dish. The Legislature gave a bounty for the 
growing of corn on new land, and thus its production was 
stimulated especially in the river counties. There was 
no oatmeal in the province in those days because there 
were no mills in which it could be ground, but oats were 


grown in considerable quantities for the lumbermen. 
Wheat was giown to a limited extent, but wheat flour 
-was much less generally used as food than is the case at 
present. In the year 1819 there were 32,857 barrels of 
flour imported into New Brunswick and 8,109 were ex- 
ported, leaving a net consumption of 24,748 barrels, so that 
no great quantity of wheat could have been grown in the 
province at that time. Barley was grown to some ex- 
tent and also rye. Very little buckwheat was then pro- 
duced by our farmers, but potatoes, beets, carrots and 
other vegetables were grown in considerable quantities. 
There are no figures of the live stock owned by the farm- 
ers of New Brunswick until the year 1840, but in a gen- 
eral way it may be said that swine and sheep were more 
plentiful in proportion to the population in 1818 than 
they are at present. 

With respect to clothing, the people of the rural dis- 
tricts supplied the largest part of it for themselves. 
Large flocks of sheep were kept by the farmers and 
their wool was made into homespun by the labor of the 
women of the family. The wool was in 1818 carded by 
hand, but, in the course of time, carding mills were in- 
troduced and the women relieved of this laborious work. 
The spinning and weaving, however, remained a part 
of their tasks, no house being without a spinning wheel 
and few without a loom. The homespun thus produced 
was worn by both men and women and was thought good 
enough for any person. Homespun was made of the 
wool of white and black sheep mixed, five or six of the 


latter being kept on every farm to color the cloth, which 
was called sheep's grey. There was a sort of Kersey 
cloth, blue and white, which was made into blouses for 
the men. The blue dye-tub was a feature of every 
kitchen, and, as it was necessarily closed with a tight cover, 
frequently served as a seat. Women had their dresses 
made in plaid patterns and frequently wore what were 
called camlet cloaks, a sort of Scotch plaid with very 
bright colors. Their dresses had mutton leg sleeves and 
their bonnets were of the coal scuttle order. Men wore 
surtouts that came to their feet, enormous capes covered 
with pleats and bell crowned hats. The waists of both 
men and women were just under their arms. When a 
man wished to have a fashionable Sunday suit he had his 
homespun fulled and pressed, there being a few mills in 
the province at which this work could be done. This 
thickened the cloth and made it more presentable, but 
suits made of fulled cloth were seldom well fitting or 
attractive. A tailor was employed to come to the farm- 
house and make up the suit, and one suit of this kind 
was generally required to last several years. In respect 
to dress neither the men nor the women of that day 
could bear any comparison with those of the present time. 
All kinds of imported cloths were costly, especially cotton 
which is now so cheap. In lieu of cotton many of the 
thrifty farmers' wives manufactured linen out of home 
grown flax, a laborious and slow process, which seldom 
yielded good results. In nothing is the advance of civiliza- 
tion more marked, and with it the increase of comfort, 


than in the cheapness of cotton goods which now enter 
so largely into the domestic economy of every in- 
habitant of this province. Eeady-made shoes were not 
to be had in New Brunswick in the year 1818, and the 
foot-wear for both men and women was a product of the 
farm. The hide of the slain beeve or calf was tanned in- 
to leather, and the shoemaker, who like the tailor, was a 
nomadic individual, did the rest. There was not 
much style about the shoes made under this system and 
ladies with small feet had but little opportunity of dis- 
playing their neatness in calfskin shoes of home manu- 

Great as is the contrast in the clothing of the peo- 
ple between 1818 and 1891, the contrast in the furniture 
of the houses is greater still. Few houses in the coun- > 
try had carpets and when there was a carpet in the parlor 
it was invariably home-made, woven out of the wool 
grown on the farm. Chairs of painted wood were consid- 
ered good enough for the best room, and very frequent- 
ly they were of home manufacture with bottoms of split 
ash woven in by the Indians. In the kitchen, which was 
the living room of the house, benches were the ordinary 
seats. A box about six feet long, two feet wide and two 
feet high and with a high back, answered for storing fuel 
and for a bed at night. Frequently the children slept in 
trundle beds, which to economize space were pushed un- 
der the beds of the older people during the day and 
drawn out at night. Such a thing as a piano, organ or 
other similar musical instrument could hardly be found 


in a country house in the province of New Brunswick 
in the year 1818; now there are few country houses 
without them. In the matter of books there was also a 
great contrast between that time and the present. The 
average farm house was well equipped with reading 
matter, if, besides a Bible, it had a book of sermons, the 
Pilgrim's Progress and Doddridge's Saints Best. News- 
papers were seldom to be seen in the country and where 
they were taken no one was allowed to read them on a 

The agricultural implements used by the farmers in 
1818 were of the most primitive description. Labor- 
saving farm machinery was unknown. The ploughs 
were not much in advance, so far as efficiency went, of 
those in use in Europe a thousand years before. Their 
mould-boards were of wood sheathed with iron and they 
had but one handle. The harrows were home made and 
most of the other implements were clumsy and inefficient. 
Mowing machines and reapers had not been invented and 
all the grain had to be cleaned by the wind, after the 
manner of the Egyptians three thousand years ago. Oxen 
were much more used than horses in all agricultural 
operations and much time was wasted by the farmers in 
following their tardy footsteps. The science of agricul- 
ture was but little understood and the proper rotation of 
crops received hardly any attention. The cattle on the 
farms were of inferior breeds and yielded but a poor re- 
turn for the food they consumed. No attention whatever 
was paid to housing them properly. Any kind of a shed 


was considered good enough for a barn, and, while they 
frequently suffered from insufficiency of food, they invar- 
iably were exposed to the cold. The same inferiority of 
breed which marked the cattle of the country extended 
to the horses, sheep and swine, especially the latter which 
were mostly of the racer variety and yielded a minimum 
of flesh and fat from a maximum of food. 

Farm wagons were almost the only wheeled vehicles 
in use in the rural districts. A few persons possessed 
what was termed a chaise, a high two wheeled affair on 
leather springs, but these chaises were not common and 
were rather thought to savor too much of luxury. The 
ordinary mode of travelling was on horseback and when 
a lady went to market or to church she usually rode be- 
hind her husband on a pillion. Most of the inhabitants 
however, were settled on the banks of large rivers, so 
that boats and skiffs were available for much of their 
travelling. There were about five hundred miles of so- 
called roads in the Province at this period, but most of 
them were mere bridle paths, only suitable for persons on 
horseback. The mail from Fredericton to Gagetown and 
St. John was carried by a courier on horseback who gave 
due notice of his approach by vigorously blowing a horn. 

The principal road from St. John to Fredericton in 
1818 followed the west side of the river past Oak Point, 
Hampstead, Gagetown and Oromocto. It was 82 
miles in length and a ferry had to be used at the mouth 
of the Nerepis and at Oromocto. The Nerepis road, 
which reduced the distance to Fredericton by about 17 


miles, was not opened until some years later in the time 
of Sir Howard Douglas. There were two other roads be- 
tween St. John and Fredericton in those days, one on the 
east side of the river by Gondola Point, Kingston, the 
Head of Bellisle, Washademoak, Jemseg and Sheffield, 
which was 86 miles in length; the other by Hampton 
Ferry and Head of Bellisle to Vanwart's, where the St. 
John river was crossed and the road on the west side of 
the river followed to Oromocto and Fredericton. The 
other roads of the Province at this time were one to 
Fort Cumberland by Hampton Ferry, Sussex and the 
Bend 144| miles in length; a road from St. John to St. 
Andrews 67 miles in length, and a road from Fredericton 
to Miramichi 108| miles in length. There was no road 
north of Fredericton on either side of the St. John river ; 
no road between the Bend and Miramichi, and no road 
north of the Miramichi Eiver. The roads of the pro- 
vince were always an object of interest to its people and 
in 1816, 1817, 1818 and subsequent years the Legisla- 
ture made liberal grants for their improvement, but the 
great size of the rivers, necessitating long and costly 
bridges, and the other difficulties incident to the construc- 
tion of roads in a forest country, made progress slow and 
for many years kept the roads in a backward state. The 
only mitigating circumstance was that the people used the 
roads as little as possible and relied almost entirely on 
water communication where there were any considerable 
loads to be carried. At that date the distinction be- 
tween great roads of communication and bye roads 


was recognized, but there is no information available as 
to the number of the latter, or their aggregate length. 
When the great roads were in so bad a condition the 
state of the bye roads may be imagined. Many of 
them had merely a nominal existence and some were 
little better than blazed paths through the forest. 

The year in which Sir Leonard Tilley was born was 
the third year that a steamboat ran on the river 
between St. John and Fredericton. Prior to that time 
the only means of travelling of a public character had 
been by small sloops and schooners. In 1784 Ne- 
hemiah Beckwith established the first scow or tow- 
boat on the river between St. John and Fredericton and 
in 1786 the schooner Four Sisters began to make regular 
trips between the two places, leaving St. John every 
Tuesday, wind and weather permitting. Sloops and 
schooners continued to run long after steamboats were 
introduced and did not cease their trips until the year 
1843. The passenger sloop of the year 1818 was not a 
very comfortable kind of vessel. Bishop Plessis of 
Quebec who travelled from St. John to Fredericton in 
the sloop Minerva, commanded by Captain Segee, in 1815, 
gives a very amusing account of his voyage. They em- 
barked at Indiantown on Thursday morning the 17th. 
August at 8 o'clock and did not reach Fredericton until 
Saturday afternoon at 4 o'clock. It thus took the Bis- 
hop fifty-six hours to accomplish a voyage which is per- 
formed by the steamboats of the present day in less than 
seven hours. This sloop had twenty-one persons on 


board, of whom four were women and four children, and 
she was so small that this number crowded her uncom- 
fortably. The captain, a mate and two negroes formed 
the crew. A small-after cabin was reserved for ladies 
and the forward one was for the men and was also used 
as a dining room. It was too small to allow all the 
twenty-one passengers to eat at once so that they had to 
be accommodated at two tables. The sleeping conven- 
iences were wretched. The good bishop says patheti- 
cally in his journal: "Dirty beds without clothes and 
without blankets were the lot of whoever did not wish 
to sleep in the common room and in view of the other 
passengers, men and women, who were enjoying them- 
selves at cards far into the night. The first was so disa- 
greeable to the prelate that he retired in his little cabin 
with Messrs. Broncherville and Gadreau which scarcely 
sufficed to hold them, much less their baggage which had 
been piled into a heap. The following night, the weather 
being fine and the moon bright, he determined to re- 
main on deck where towards morning he enjoyed a few 
hours of uncomfortable rest on overcoats and other 
articles of apparel gathered up from one place and another, 
for since leaving Halifax he found himself deprived of all 
his articles of night use. It was under all these incon- 
venciences that two nights and nearly three days were 
to be passed in this miserable sloop." 

The experience of the Bishop of Quebec was by no 
means singular, for the Eev. George J. Mountain, who was 
afterwards Episcopal Bishop of Montreal, was three days 


on the river between St. John and Oromocto in the year 
1814, and being becalmed at the latter place had to 
make the remaining part of the journey to Fredericton 
on horseback. It will convey to the modern reader some 
idea of the difficulties of travel in those days to learn 
that the journey of this clergyman from Quebec to Fred- 
ericton occupied almost six weeks, and cost as much 
money as a trip to Europe and back would at the present 
day. He first set sail in a transport from Quebec to 
Charlottetown, P. E. I. From thence he crossed to Pictou 
and proceeded by land to Halifax. From the latter place he 
went to Annapolis and crossed in a schooner to St. John. 
No one travelled for pleasure in the year 1818. 

The first steamer on the St. John river was the Gen- 
eral Smyth, and she reached Fredericton on her initial 
trip on the 21st. May 1816. This vessel was named af- 
ter the Administrator of the province, General George 
Stacey Smyth, and like most enterprises of that time had 
her origin in a provincial bounty. In 1812 the Legisla- 
ture passed an act "To encourage the erection of a pass- 
age boat to be worked by steam for facilitating the 
communication between the city of St. John and Freder- 
icton." This act was amended and its provisions extend- 
ed by a statute of 1813 and it was still further amended 
and extended in 1819. By this last act the owners of 
the General Smyth were granted the exclusive right of 
navigating the St. John river by steam for a period of 
ten years. This monopoly expired in 1829 and was not 
renewed. The General Smyth only made one trip a 


week to Fredericton and therefore did not seriously inter- 
fere with the sloops which did not abandon the river 
until many years after a steam tug was thoroughly estab- 
lished. This pioneer steamer took fifteen hours to make 
the trip from St. John to Fredericton. The trip cost four 
dollars each way or just four times the present fare. 
The General Smyth was very unlike the steamboats of 
the present day, all her cabins being below the main 
deck. The St. George, owned by the same company, fol- 
lowed the General Smyth but the latter was the only 
steamboat on the river when Sir Leonard . Tilley was 

The people who resided on the St. John River, how- 
ever, did not rely on either the steamer or sloops to take 
their produce to St. John. They had what were called 
market boats, these boats being like those used in the whale 
fishery, sharp at both ends, but considerably larger than a 
whale boat. They had a cuddy forward, in which a couple 
of people could find shelter, and carried a mainsail and 
jib rigged on one mast. Dozens of these boats were 
to be seen in the market slip at St. John during 
the summer and nearly all the produce that was con- 
sumed in that city was carried in these market boats- 
For people to whom time seems to have been of little 
value they answered well enough, but they would not be 
regarded with favor by the farmers of to-day, who look 
upon time as money and send their produce to market 
in the most expeditious manner possible. 

Communication was maintained in 1818, and for 


many years afterwards, between St. John and Digby, by 
means of a packet schooner which received a subsidy of 
150 a year from the Government of this Province and a 
similar amount from the Government of Nova Scotia. It 
was not until the year 1827 that the first steamer was 
placed on this route. The steamboat service across the 
Bay was steadily maintained from that time for the growing 
trade of St. John was vitally interested in it being kept 
up. In 1818 a packet sloop named the Wellington own- 
ed by Noah Disbrow ran to New York, and several small 
sloops with accommodations for passengers sailed between 
St. John and Eastport. In 1824 this service was supple- 
mented by a small steamer, the Tom Thumb, which made 
trips from St. John to the ports on Passamaquoddy Bay. 
In 1825 a packet schooner of considerable size com- 
menced to run to New York, and for many years the 
packet service to New York was continued. At a later 
period steamers were put on the route between St. John 
and Boston, but even so late as the year 1838 persons going 
from St. John to Boston had to disembark at Eastport 
and drive by stage to Bangor, where they took passage 
in a steamboat for Portland or Boston. It is hardly 
necessary to remind the reader that in 1818 slow and un- 
certain sailing vessels were the only means of reaching 
Europe from St. John, it being then thought quite im- 
possible for a vessel wholly depending on steam to cross 
the Atlantic. 

The hotels of New Brunswick in the year 1818 were 
few in number and of inferior character. Bishop Plessis, 


whom we have already quoted, gives a very unflattering 
account of those he encountered at Fredericton in 'the 
year 1815. Judging from his description the city hotels 
of that day must have been much worse than the most 
inferior country inns of the present time. The bar was 
the most prominent feature in all of them and the name 
"tavern" which was usually given to them very properly 
described their character. It was not until the year 
1837 that the people of St. John had in the old St. John ho- 
tel a place where a traveller could live in comfort and 
decency. In the country the fewness of the travellers 
and the universal hospitality of the people made hotels 
almost unnecessary, but when a new road was opened up 
it was essential that houses should be provided at which 
a traveller could find food and shelter. Thus when the 
Nerepis road from St. John to Fredericton was complet- 
ed in 1824 two persons were induced to settle on it 
and keep houses of entertainment, receiving pay from 
the Government for doing so. This custom was continu- 
ed for many years with all the new roads that were 
opened up, and no better proof could be adduced of the 
primitive state of affairs which existed at that day. 
The keepers of these subsidized wayside inns usually re- 
ceived from 25 to 50 a year, and considering that they 
had to live remote from their fellow men they were not 

Education was in a very unsatisfactory condition in 
the Province of New Brunswick in the year 1818, and it 
continued in that condition for many years afterwards. 


If we may judge from 'the statute book the founders 
of the province had very little appreciation for the advan- 
tages of education, for no law was passed with a view to 
the establishment of public schools until the year 1805.. 
In that year "An act for encouraging and extending liter- 
ature in this Province" was passed under the provisions 
of which a public grammar school was established in the 
city of St. John which received a grant of 100 for the 
purpose of assisting the trustees to procure a suitable 
building for school uses, and also an annual grant of 100' 
for the support of the master. The same act provided for 
the establishment of County schools, and the sections relat- 
ing to them being limited in respect to time were con- 
tinued by 50th Geo. 3rd, cap. 33 to the year 1816 when 
they expired and were replaced by "An act for the 
establishment of schools in the province." This act 
expired in 1823 and in its place "An act for the encourage- 
ment of Parish schools" was passed the same year. This 
last act was repealed by "An act relating to Parish 
schools" passed in 1833 which continued in force for many 
years. All these acts were essentially the same in prin- 
ciple as they provided for government aid to teachers who 
had been employed to teach schools in the parishes under 
the authority of the school trustees. The act of 1833, which 
was considered to be a great improvement on former acts, 
provided for the appointment of three school trustees in 
each parish by the sessions and these trustees were 
charged with the duty of dividing the parishes into dis- 
tricts and directing the discipline of the schools. They 


were required to certify once a year to the Lieutenant 
Governor as to the number of schools in their parish, 
the number of scholars and other particulars, and on 
their certificate the teacher drew the government money. 
This money was granted at the rate of 20 for a male 
teacher who had taught school a year, or 10 for six 
months, and 10 for a female teacher who had taught 
school a year, or 5 for six months, provided the inhabi- 
tants of the school district had subscribed an equal 
amount for the support of the teacher, or supplied board, 
washing and lodging to the teacher in lieu of the money. 
Thus, a male teacher, in a district where a school was 
always kept, would receive for his year's work his board, 
lodging and washing, and 20 in money, and a female 
teacher 10. Such a rate of remuneration was not well 
calculated to attract competent persons and the result 
was very unsatisfactory. Most of the teachers employed 
were old men who had a mere smattering of learning and 
who were very incompetent instructors. They usually 
boarded around among the parents of the pupils, living at 
each house in proportion to the number of scholars sent. 
This system, which raised them but one degree above 
the condition of paupers, was not conducive to their 
comfort or self-respect. As there was no uniformity in 
the books prescribed and no sufficient educational test, 
the results of such teaching were not likely to be 
satisfactory. Sometimes the teacher was a woman who 
eked out a scanty subsistence by communicating her 
small learning to a few scholars whom she gathered in 


her kitchen. Generally, however, the school building 
was a log hut without any of those appliances which 
are now regarded as essential to the proper instruction 
of youth. 

In the year 1818 the sum of 3,000 was granted by 
the Province for the support of public schools ; and in 
1819 the same amount was granted, but a return made to 
the House of Assembly shows that only about one half 
of these amounts was expended, so that there were prob- 
ably less than one hundred schools in operation through- 
out the Province, and perhaps 4,000 would be a high 
estimate of the number of pupils. Thus it will be seen 
that, not only were the educational qualifications of the 
teachers low, but the schools, such as they were, never 
became numerous enough to meet the educational wants 
of the children. This condition of affairs was somewhat 
improved by subsequent legislation, but it was not until 
a Normal School was established for the training of 
teachers that New Brunswick can be said to have had 
good schools. The free school act of 1872 finally gave 
this Province, what it needed most, a first-class school 
system by which every child born in it could obtain an 

In 1816 an act was passed providing for the establish- 
ment of grammar schools in the several counties of the 
Province. At that period St. John and St. Andrews had 
already grammar schools which had been established 
under separate acts, and Fredericton had an Academy or 
College which was founded by a Provincial Charter 


granted by Lieutenant Governor Carleton in 1800. The 
counties of St. John, Charlotte and York were therefore 
excepted from the operation of the general act for the 
establishment of grammar schools. This act, after being 
amended in 1823, was finally repealed by the act of 1829 
which endowed Kings College at Fredericton and made 
new provisions for the establishment and support of 
grammar schools throughout the Province. Kings Col- 
lege, at a later period, developed into the University of 
New Brunswick, which is the only Provincial institution 
for higher education that we possess. It had its begin- 
ning in the original charter of 1800, already referred to, 
which established the College of New Brunswick. In the 
same year the Governor and Trustees of the College of 
New Brunswick received a grant, under the great seal of 
the Province, of a considerable tract of land in and near 
Fredericton for the support of that institution of learning. 
1 In the year 1818 the New Brunswick College was merely 
a classical school receiving from the Legislature annually 
250, which was the same amount then allowed to the 
St. John grammar school. Its principal preceptor was 
Eev. James Somerville, a Church of England clergyman, 
who was also chaplain to the garrison at Fredericton and 
chaplain of the House of Assembly. This gentleman 
afterwards became Professor of Divinity and Metaphysics 
in Kings College, under its new charter. In 1818, part 
of the work of the so-called New Brunswick College was 
done by a tutor named Shelton. The.St. John grammar 
school was then conducted by James Paterson, who took 


charge of it that year and who continued to be its head 
master for upwards of forty years. The Fredericton school 
and the St. John grammar school were the only institutions 
in the Province where anything like a good classical 
education could be acquired in the year 1818, but in the 
course of a few years grammar schools were established 
in all the counties, and that at Gageto wn was the one at 
which Sir Leonard Tilley completed his education. 

About this time the attention of the people of this 
Province was directed to what was called the Madras 
system of national schools as conducted by Dr. Bell, the 
real founder of the system being Joseph Lancaster. This 
system depends for its success on the use of monitors, 
who were selected from among the senior pupils, to in- 
struct the younger ones. It was supposed at the time to 
be a notable discovery, but like other short cut? to learn- 
ing, it has fallen out of favor. In July, 1818, the first 
Madras school was established in St. John by a Mr. West 
from Halifax. This was a boy's school, and a school for 
girls, on the same system, was opened a year or two later. 
In 1819 a Madras School Charter was procured, under 
the great seal of the Province, and the Madras school 
system established on a substantial foundation. The 
province gave a grant of 250 for the erection of a 
suitable school building in St. John and the National 
Society in England contributed to its support. This 
charter was confirmed by an act passed in 1820. The St. 
John school was to- be regarded as the central school, but 
it was the design of the charter that the benefits of the 


system should be extended to other parts of the Province, 
and this was accordingly done. The Madras schools 
received liberal appropriations of money, and large grants 
of land, and they continued to exist until the introduction 
of the free school system. One or two of them indeed 
continue in operation up to the present time, but they 
have lost their original character and have become simply 
Church of England schools, that denomination having 
appropriated the Madras school endowments to the 
support of school^ in which its principles and creed are 
taught. It is clearly the diity of the Legislature to take 
over the Madras school property for the benefit of the 
common schools. 

The Church of England was the leading religious body 
in the Province in 1818. A majority of the influential 
.settlers among the Loyalists belonged to the Church of 
England, and for a time it was virtually regarded as an 
established church. One of the first acts of the Legislature 
of New Brunswick, 26th Geo. 3rd, Cap. 4, was "An act for 
preserving the Church of England as by law established 
in this Province, and for securing liberty of conscience in 
matters of religion." This act was not quite so sweeping 
in its provisions as its title would seem to indicate, its 
principal feature being a provision requiring beneficed 
clergymen to read the service in their parishes at least 
once a month. Liberty of conscience was granted to all 
dissenters, and they were also given the right to 
erect meeting houses and conduct public worship. 
The principal disability from which ministers of 


other denominations suffered was that they were 
denied the right to solemnize marriages. By 31st 
Geo. 3rd, Cap. 5, the right to solemnize marriages 
was restricted to clergymen of the Church of England, 
ministers of the Kirk of Scotland, Roman Catholic clergy- 
men and Justices of the Peace. Quakers were permitted 
to marry according to the usages of their sect, but all 
other ministers were forbidden to solemnize marriages 
under a penalty of one hundred pounds and twelve 
months imprisonment. This obnoxious law was not 
repealed until 1834, when the right of marrying was 
extended to ministers and teachers of all other religious 
denominations, provided they obtained a license from the 
Lieutenant Governor for that purpose. Thus New 
Brunswick had been a separate Province for about fifty ( 
years before ministers of Protestant denominations, other 
than the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, 
were granted this important right. The bill was specially 
reserved for the approval of the King, but fortunately the 
King's advisers at that time were the reform government 
of Earl Gray, so the bill became law. 

The Church of England had been highly favored in the 
matter of glebes and grants, but it cannot be said to have 
made the best use of its opportunities. In 1818 it had 
but nine settled clergymen, who were stationed at St. 
John, Fredericton, St. Andrews, St. Stephen, Sussex, 
Maugerville, Gagetown, Woodstock and Kingston. The 
Church of Scotland had but one minister, who was 
stationed at St. John. It is evident that at this time the 


Church of England was either very far from doing its 
duty to its people or that its adherents were much less 
numerous, in proportion to the rest of the population, 
than they had been when the Province was first settled. 
There was no bishop of the Church of England residing in 
New Brunswick in 1818, nor for many years afterwards, 
the appointment of the first bishop of Fredericton, who 
exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the entire province, 
taking place in 1845. The New Brunswick clergy were 
in 1818, and up to the year 1845, under the juris- 
diction of the Bishop of Nova Scotia, and that ecclesiastic 
was, until the year 1833, a member of the Council of 
New Brunswick which, besides being a legislative body, 
had also executive functions. The Bishop of Nova Scotia 
appears to have been present at only one meeting of the 
New Brunswick Council, the date being the 3rd July, 
1826. His visit to this province at that time was in 
connexion with his proper duties as a bishop, and on that 
occasion he consecrated St. John's Church in this city. 
The appointment of the Bishop of Nova Scotia as a 
member of the Council of New Brunswick sufficiently 
shows, if any proof was needed,, that the Church of 
England was regarded as established in this Province. 
This idea is also embodied in the charter of Kings 
College, which was granted in 1828. This charter makes 
the bishop of the diocese the Visitor of the College and 
declares that the president shall always be a clergyman, 
in holy orders, of the United Church of England and 
Ireland, No religious test was required of students 


matriculating or taking degrees in arts, but the Council of 
the College, which was the governing body, was to be 
composed of members of the Church of England, who, 
previous to their appointment, had subscribed to the 
thirty-nine articles. The professors to the number of 
seven, who were members of the Church of England, were 
to be members of the Council, so that although no 
religious test was required of them it was reasonably 
certain that none but persons of that denomination would 
be appointed to professorships. This much can be said 
in favor of Kings College, that its charter w r as much less 
illiberal than that of its namesake at Windsor, Nova 
Scotia, yet surely it was a rank absurdity to place a 
provincial college under the control of a single denomina- 
tion which could not claim more than one-third of the 
population of the Province as belonging to its communion. 
This injustice to the other denominations was finally 
redressed, but not until after the lapse of many years 
and when the usefulness of the College had become 
seriously impaired and its very existence threatened. 
Even at this day it is doubtful if the University has 
ever recovered from the malign effects of the narrow and 
sectarian spirit which sought to make it the College of 
one denomination instead of a University for all classes 
and creeds. 

In 1818 the majority of the men who had come with 
the Loyalists, and who had occupied influential positions 
in the early years of the Province, were dead. Many of 
these men were well educated, and some of them had 


filled offices of high responsibility in the old colonies. 
Their sons, who had fewer educational advantages and 
who had perhaps less natural energy, were the leading 
men in New Brunswick at the time of which I have 
been speaking. It is no discredit to the latter to say that 
they were hardly equal to their fathers either in ability 
or force of character, and they were beginning to be 
exposed to the competition of new-comers who had 
perhaps but little sympathy with the Loyalists or their 
traditions. In the rural districts the tone of society was 
very free and easy, and the distinctions of class were 
but little observed. Among the people who lived on 
their farms and worked every day for their living, as 
they had to do at that period, there was very little oppor- 
tunity for one class to set itself above another. But it 
was otherwise in the cities. In Fredericton, and also in 
St. John and St. Andrews, the line which separated the 
society people from others was very marked. The best 
society in Fredericton consisted of the official element, 
with a sprinkling of the military element and the 
descendants of the old families who kept up the traditions 
of the past. These people had entree to the Government 
House, and formed quite an exclusive circle, into which 
it was difficult for a new-comer to enter. The professional 
men, lawyers, doctors and clergymen of the Church of 
England were recognized, for the most part, as belonging 
to this set, but tradesmen, or men who lived by com- 
merce, were rigorously excluded. In St. John very 
much the same state of affairs prevailed, except that a 


few merchants who were descended from influential 
Loyalist families, and who had acquired considerable 
wealth, were able to maintain their position in society 
beside the official and professional classes. Those who 
composed the official classes were not, as a rule, persons 
who could claim any very ancient descent, if their pedi- 
grees had been submitted to the inspection of a herald in 
the United Kingdom. The officials who occupied 
positions in Massachusetts and the other colonies before 
the Eevolution, and who afterwards filled public 
positions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, were not 
generally men of ancient lineage, but they succeeded in 
establishing in both these colonies an aristocracy of their 
own, and looked down with something like contempt upon 
men who were engaged in mercantile pursuits, although 
these men might far surpass them in the antiquity of 
their families. It is easy to see that where society was 
thus controlled on narrow and exclusive lines there was 
but little opportunity for its development or for the 
growth either of intellect or learning. When a set of 
people have made up their minds that they are superior 
by virtue of birth to all others, they are not usually in a 
condition to advance very far forward in any direction, or 
to add to the intellectual 01 industrial development of the 
country in which they live. The regime of this class, 
therefore, was rather injurious to New Brunswick, because 
it taught the sons of persons who regarded themselves as 
the aristocracy to look with contempt upon those pursuits 
by the exercise of which the province alone could hope to 


"become wealthy and prosperous. One thing militated very 
much against a change in this respect, and that was the 
largeness of the official salaries in comparison with those 
of the present day, or with the gains of commercial men. 
It would be utterly impossible for any official class to 
occupy the same position now that was occupied by their 
predecessors in 1818, because as compared to the rest of 
the population the official classes are now in but indif- 
ferent circumstances, whereas they were then the 
wealthiest people in the Province. We have reached a 
time, fortunately, when broader views prevail, and when 
people are not excluded from society by reason of their 
occupations, where these occupations are honorable and 

Among the customs of the year 18.18, which have now 
utterly disappeared, was the practice of duelling. In 
those days w r hen two men had a quarrel they 
thought the proper way in which to vindicate their 
honor was for them to stand up and avenge the real 
or supposed insult by pistol practice at each other. 
Of all the senseless and unchristian methods of 
settling a dispute the duel was the worst, and 
it is a singular proof of the original and persistent 
savagery of human nature that the duel should have 
existed in this Province within a period which many 
living men can remember. Duels were quite numerous in 
.New Brunswick seventy years ago, and some of them 
were fatal. One which is recalled at the present day was 
that which took place between George Ludlow Wetmore 


and George Frederick Street, in the month of October, 
1821, resulting in the death of the former. In this case 
the other principal, Mr. Street, and the seconds, Messrs. 
Davis and Winslow, had to fly from the Province to 
escape the penalties of murder. But a year afterwards 
they gave themselves up and were tried and acquitted, 
thus showing that public opinion was not sufficiently 
advanced to punish duelling as it ought to have been 
punished. The fact that George Frederick Street after- 
wards became a judge of the Supreme Court show's that 
he did not suffer in social or political influence merely 
because he had the blood of another man on his hands. 
One of the latest duels fought in New Brunswick, and 
fortunately a harmless one, was that which took place 
between Dr. Wilson, who was then a member for West- 
morland, and Thomas Gilbert, a member for Queens,, 
somewhere about the year 1840. After that, duelling 
gradually fell into disrepute, but the spirit which produced 
it still survived among some of the ancient inhabitants. 
This was shown by a singular occurrence which took 
place during the government of Manners Sutton in 1861, 
when the Eev. Dr. Jacobs, principal of the University of 
New Brunswick, becoming offended at some remarks 
made by the Lieutenant Governor as Visitor of the College, 
challenged the latter to fight a duel. The duel was not 
fought, and the challenger had to withdraw his challenge 
to avoid the penalty of being dismissed from the College. 
The people of the present day who are unfamiliar with 
the duel, and who fail to see the philosophy of it, can 


hardly understand the tone of a society in which such 
an institution could be tolerated. 

In 1818, and for thirty-two years afterwards, th post 
office was an imperial institution in the British North 
American colonies. The postal facilities of that day were 
so very inferior in comparison with what we enjoy at 
present, as to make any contrast almost an absurdity. 
The postage on letters was so high that no one sent letters 
by mail, unless in cases of absolute necessity. It cost 
seven pence to send a letter from St. John to Fredericton, 
and a shilling to send one to Kichibucto. The postage 
from St. John to Dorchester was nine pence, and the 
same rate took a letter to Halifax. But it cost one 
shilling and three pence to send a letter to Dalhousie, 
one shilling and six pence to send it from St. John to 
Quebec, and one shilling and eight pence to forward it to 
Montreal. These excessive rates of postage existed until 
the year 1850, when the post office department was 
transferred to the provincial government. A curious 
light is thrown on these high rates of postage by some 
correspondence which passed between the post office 
authorities and the government of New Brunswick in 
the year 1843 in regard to the postage charged on certain 
public documents which had been forwarded to the 
government of this Province from Nova Scotia and Prince 
Edward Island. A copy of the laws of Prince Edward 
Island, which had been sent from Chaiiottetown for 
the use of the provincial government, was charged 

34 16s. 8d. postage, upon which the provincial 



authorities here refused to take it out of the post 
office, and a long correspondence ensued in regard to it. 
The packet in which the law book was contained being 
closed, it was subject to letter postage, and the Post- 
master General or his deputy was unable to relax or 
reduce the rate, so that the book in question probably 
never reached its destination. It is impossible to 
exaggerate the inconvenience which must have resulted 
from such excessive rates of postage ; nor was this the 
only evil from which the Province suffered in connection 
with the post office department. Mails, which now go 
daily or twice or three times a week, at that day seldom 
went oftener than once a week, and these mails were 
usually so small that a courier on horseback was able to 
carry them with him. Those who had friends at a 
distance seldom resorted to the post office for the purpose 
of communicating with them, and depended on sending 
letters by private hand when some casual traveller 
journeyed between the places. The same difficulty, with 
regard to postage, retarded the circulation of newspapers, 
and prevented the transmission of intelligence throughout 
the country. 

The newspapers of the year 1818 in the Province of 
New Brunswick were few in number and of very 
indifferent quality. Besides the " Eoyal Gazette," which 
was an official publication issued at Fredericton, there 
were not more than three or four weekly papers in 
existence throughout the Province. The principal of 
these was the "New Brunswick Courier," which was 


commenced by Henry Chubb & Company in the year 
1811, and which existed for upwards of fifty years. The 
" City Gazette," published by William Durant & Co., 
was also in existence at that time, and the " Star and 
Commercial Intelligencer " began its short life about the 
same period. The newspapers of that day, however, were 
quite different from these of the present time. Their 
advertisements were few in number and not very attrac- 
tive in appearance. Local news was remarkably scarce, 
and what there was of it was not always properly looked 
after. The average newspaper of seventy years ago 
contained a great deal more foreign intelligence, in 
proportion to its size, than the newspapers of the 
present day, and far less that had any bearing on New 
Brunswick. Its columns were usually filled with 
accounts of the doings of great people in Europe, and, 
except when the Legislature was in session, there was 
very little of provincial interest to be found in it. Even 
when the Legislature was sitting there were no debates 
published that were worthy of the name, the newspaper 
editors of that day having a very wholesome dread of 
being brought up before the bar of the House for breach 
of privilege. The gentlemen who composed the Legisla- 
ture in those days thought very highly of their privileges, 
and were not disposed to deal leniently with any person 
who ventured to attack them. In 1818, William Durant, 
the publisher of the " City Gazette," was brought before 
the bar of the House, charged with the publication of an 
article which reflected on some of the members. This 


article was voted a high breach of privilege, but Durant 
escaped by declaring that the article in question was 
written by Stephen Humbert, one of the members for the 
city of St. John. The Legislature then proceeded against 
Humbert, who was called upon for an explanation of his 
conduct, and this proving unsatisfactory, he was expelled 
from the House and his seat declared vacant. The 
liberty of the press of New Brunswick was of very little 
value in the year 1818, and therefore there was not 
likely to be much freedom in the comments of the editors 
upon the conduct of those who were doing the public 
business. It was dangerous for a newspaper to offend 
" the powers that be," and thus any chance of improve- 
ment by bringing the force of public opinion to bear on 
wrong doers was lost. In nothing has the Province of 
New Brunswick advanced more materially, during the 
past seventy years, than in respect to its newspapers. 

In the year 1818 the timber trade formed the great 
exporting business of New Brunswick. At that time 
spruce deals, which now form the staple of our exports, 
were almost wholly unknown, and it did not enter into 
the wildest dreams of the people of that period to 
imagine that the day was approaching when the 
pine timber trade would come to an end and the 
despised spruce take its place. Owing to the im- 
perfect character of the returns presented to the 
Legislature, we have no means of ascertaining what 
the exports of timber were in the year 1818, but 
at the session of 1821, a return was made to the House 


of Assembly, giving the exports and imports of New 
Brunswick for the years 1819 and 1820. From this 
return we learn that 1,283 vessels, of 251,538 tons, 
entered the ports of New Brunswick in the year 1819, 
and that during the same year 1,333 vessels, of 257,293 
tons, were cleared from our ports. At that time all the 
exports and imports of New Brunswick were included in 
the returns of the port of St. John, West Isles, Miramichi 
and St. Andrews, all being regarded as out-bays of St. 
John. The returns for 1819 and 1820 make no distinc- 
tion between the exports and imports from St. John and 
those from the out-bays, all being lumped together ; but 
from the returns of 1821, in which they are distinguished, 
it would appear that about half the exports 01" New 
Brunswick went from the port of St. John. The exports 
of the whole Province for the year 1819 comprised 
247,398 tons of timber, 26,545,000 feet of pine boards 
and plank, 10,910 oar rafters, 15,821 handspikes, 19,890 
hogshead shocks, 6,616,000 shingles, 5,850,000 staves, 
6,099 cords of lath wood, and 6,232 masts and spars. In 
addition to these the Province exported that year 40,073 
quintals of dry fish, 362 barrels of salmon, 11,436 barrels 
of herring, and 523 barrels of fish oil. Among the 
imports of the Province were 11,974,000 feet of pine 
boards and plank, 3,587,000 staves, and 3,746,000 
shingles ; so that, as is the case at present, a certain 
proportion of the lumber exports of New Brunswick 
appears to have come from the Province of Nova Scotia. 
The exports of timber for the year 1820 were 207,899 


tons. The other exports of the Province at this period 
consisted of coal, gypsum, grindstones and potatoes. The 
quantities of coal exported were, however, quite small, 
not much more than 1,000 tons a year. But in 1819, 
99,887 tons of gypsum were exported, and in 1820, 
30,627 tons. Of grindstones 13,878 were exported in 
1819, and 7,053 in 1820. Of potatoes 10,595 bushels 
were exported in 1819, and 1,657 bushels in 1820. 
In 1821 the exports of timber amounted to 262,597 tons, 
of which 145,963 tons went from the port of Miramichi. 
The most of the pine boards and plank, of which 
25,000,000 superficial feet were exported that year, went 
from St. John, although St. Andrews and West Isles 
contributed largely. The export of grindstones that 
year fell to 2,088, but the export of gypsum went up 
again to 44,554 tons. These figures show what the 
extent of the timber trade was at the time this narrative 
opens, and also the fluctuating character of the business 
done in other articles. The timber trade was conducted 
in a very lavish and wasteful manner by the people of 
Xew Brunswick seventy years ago. The prices obtained 
for the timber were good, and if there had been but a 
little economy and care shown in the management qf the 
business the results would have been vastly different 
and those engaged in it would have become opulent. But 
at that time timber was so abundant and so easily 
obtained that the people seem to have been impressed 
with the idea that the supply would never be exhausted. 
The men, instead of working closely and industriously at 


their business in the woods, frequently indulged in pro- 
longed debauches, and there was always far too much 
rum used in getting out timber for the work to be done 
with the greatest amount of economy and efficiency. The 
timber trade largely depended upon the condition of the 
tariff in the mother country, and the discrimination which 
existed in our favor and against the countries in the north 
of Europe which sent timber to the British market. 

In 1791, when the export of timber from New 
Brunswick may be said to have commenced, the duty on 
Baltic timber in England was only six shillings and eight 
pence a load of fifty cubic feet. This duty, however, 
was gradually raised, and in 1812 it amounted to two 
pounds, fourteen shillings and eight pence a load. In 
1820 the duty was two pounds and fifteen shillings a 
load foi Baltic timber, and for the first time a duty of 
ten shillings a load was placed on timber from British 
North America. These fluctuations in the rate of duty 
always produced a degree of uncertainty in the timber 
trade, but the existence of the duty was of immense 
advantage to the British North American colonies and to 
a large extent gave them the command of the market. 
It was not till a much later period that the system of 
duties was introduced which gradually placed the British 
colonies and the nations of the north of Europe on the 
same footing with respect to this matter.* There can be 
no doubt that had there been the same economy and the 
same attention to details in the timber trade in the year 
1818 -which exist at present, the men of that day who 


were engaged in it would have made splendid fortunes.* 
As it was it is doubtful whether the trade was more 
profitable than it is at present, notwithstanding the 
enormous productiveness of the forests and the advantage 
which New Brunswick and the other British colonies 
then had in the markets of Great Britain. 

In no one respect, perhaps, have the customs of our 
people changed more in the past seventy years than in 
regard to drinking. In 1818 such a thing as a total 
abstinence society was unknown in New Brunswick and 
the consumption of liquor was universal. In that year | 
there were imported into St. John 329,327 gallons of 
rum and shrub, and 32,211 of wine, brandy and gin. 
At Miramichi, in the same year, 75,410 gallons of rum 

*The following prices of timber and lumber from 1824 to 1839 
are taken from the books of the great firm of Robert Rankin 
& Co. : 

Vpn , Red Pine White Pine Birch Deals per M. 

xear. . per ton per ton ' f . 

ton ' 16 to 17 in. 14 to 16 in. 

1824... 28s. to 30s. 20s 18s. to 20s. 60s 

1825.. .27s. to 31s. 3d. 18s. to 20s. 17s. 6d. to 20s. 56s. to 60s. 

1826... 27s. to 29s. los. to 20s. 18s. to 20s. 55s. to 60s. 

1828... 27s. 8d. His. 17s. 6d. 50s. 

1829.. .27s. 6d. to 30s. 21s. 3d. 20s 60s. 

1830. ..25s 21s. 3d to 22s. 6d. 21s. 3d. 50s. 

1831 22s. 6d. 20s. to 21s. 50s. 

1833 14s. to 30s. 20s 50s 

1834 15s.6dto26s.6d. 20s 45s. to 50s. 

1838 15s. to 22s. 20s 50s 

1839 19s.6dto26s.6d. 20s 55s 

The above were the prices paid to the producers here, and the 
same was shipped at the same price, substituting sterling for 

The sterling then carried no premium, nothing but the par 
of 11 1-9. 


were imported and 18,084 gallons of wine, brandy and 
gin. At St. Andrews, in the same year, 102,185 gallons 
of rum were imported and 2,471 gallons of wine, brandy 
and gin. That this large importation of liquor was not 
exceptional or peculiar to the year 1818 admits of easy 
proof. In 1821 a return was laid before the House of 
Assembly by the Lieutenant Governor, giving a list of the 
goods imported and exported at the port of St. John for 
the years 1819 and 1820. From this return it appears 
that in 1819 the importation of liquor at St. John alone 
reached the enormous aggregate of 844,996 gallons of 
rum, 31,183 gallons of brandy and gin, and 16,345 gal- 
lons of wine. But 327,930 gallons of this rum were 
exported, so that the net consumption of rum that year 
in the Province appears to have been 517,066 gallons. 
In 1820 the importations of rum were still greater, the 
number of gallons brought into the Province that year 
being 949,260. The export was also greater and 
amounted to 475,837 gallons, so that the net consumption 
was smaller than in 1819. That year, however, 19,368 
gallons of wine were imported at St. John and 27,336 
gallons of brandy and gin. 

These figures go to show that the people of New 
Brunswick seventy years ago were much more addicted 
to drink than they are to-day. It was indeed an age of 
drinking. No work of any kind could be done in the 
field or in the forest, in the shipyard or in the workshop 
without the assistance of rum. Liquor was as much a 
staple article for use in the woods as was pork or flour. 


The sloops that went up the river from St. John to Fred- 
ericton, in Sir Leonard Tilley's boyhood, had their decks- 
piled up high with rum and pork, and the one was 
regarded as quite as much a necessary of life as the other. 
Total abstinence was an unheard of virtue in those days. 
This sketch of the social condition of New Brunswick 
seventy years ago might be greatly extended, and fuller 
details might be supplied to illustrate the various phases- 
of the subject, but it is not necessary to do so. Enough 
has been shown to prove that life in New Brunswick in 
1818 was wholly different from what it is to-day, and 
that we have advanced since then quite as much in 
material prosperity as we have in political freedom. The 
people of to-day would no more endure the hardships and 
drawbacks which their fathers had to bear than they 
would the yoke of the family compact, or of a Governor 
who paid no heed to the wishes of the people. 




In 1818 the political condition of New Brunswick and 
the system of government were very different from what 
they are at the present time. It would, indeed, have 
been impossible, with such a system as prevailed in the 
mother country, for New Brunswick to have enjoyed the 
same free institutions which exist now. In the United 
Kingdom, although the constitution was the same nomin- 
ally which is now in force, its operation was entirely 
different. The throne was occupied by George III., who 
for many years had been insane, and whose functions 
were performed by his son the Prince Eegent, afterwards 
George IV. The old king, who has earned a title to the 
contempt and hatred of the British people in both hemi- 
spheres by conduct which separated the British North 
American colonies from the mother country and produced 
a breach between the two great sections of the Anglo- 
Saxon race which has not yet been healed, was then 
within but a few months of the end of his life. During 
his reign, and while his faculties were active, he had 
introduced into British institutions a degree of personal 


government which was wholly incompatible with the free 
operation of the British constitution. Those who take 
the trouble to read the correspondence between his favorite 
minister, Lord North, and George III. will understand in 
what fashion the British government was conducted 
during the reign of that monarch, and how little the 
wishes of the people were consulted or the representative 
system of the mother country was retained, many petty 
boroughs with small population being able to send mem- 
bers to parliament, while large and populous cities had 
no representation or voice in the councils of the empire. 
A few great families imagined that they had the heredi- 
tary right to rule and control affairs, not only in the House 
of Lords, but also in that branch of the Legislature which 
was supposed to represent the people. Great land-owners, 
like the Duke of Newcastle, were extensive proprietors of 
borough influence and were enabled to give support to 
the crown in its measures in return for favors in the 
shape of sinecure offices. It is a remarkable proof of the 
state of affairs which existed at that period with respect 
to the colonies that men were appointed to office in 
places they had never seen, and who knew nothing what- 
ever of their wants or requirements. Charles Greville, a 
clerk of the Privy Council, whose memoirs, recently 
published, have excited much interest, not only held that 
important and lucrative position, but was also Secretary 
for Jamaica, a sinecure office which was performed by 
deputy but of which he received the emoluments. It 
was not until fourteen years later that the reform bill 


was carried in England, that charter of the people's 
liberties which gradually has brought Great Britain to be 
the most free and democratic country in the world, with 
the exception of her colonies. When the old king died 
the scandal which attended the quarrels between George 
IV. and his wife filled the land with excitement and 
horror. This debauched and worthless monarch, who was 
utterly without one redeeming quality, while he was 
attempting to obtain a divorce from Queen Caroline for 
her alleged infidelities, was living in shameless licentious- 
ness with his mistress, Lady Conyngham. With such a 
spectacle on the throne it was not to be expected that the 
tone of good society in England could be either pure or 
satisfactory. Indeed it was not until the reign of Queen 
Victoria that the better classes of that country were 
obliged to conform to those rules of decency and good 
order which alone can make any society tolerable. The 
constitution of New Brunswick in 1818 w r as a bad copy 
of that of the United Kingdom. There was a House of 
Assembly, which was elected by the owners of a freehold 
worth 25, if residents of the county in which they voted, 
or 50 if non-residents. In the city of St. John the 
members were chosen by freemen as well as by freeholders. 
The qualification of members was the ownership of a free- 
hold worth 200 in the county which they wished to 
represent. The term of the general assembly was seven 
years, and not four as at present. Elections were not by 
ballot but by open voting, and lasted fifteen days, the 
poll being removed from one section of the county to 


another for the purpose of taking votes. This system of 
election naturally produced great disorders and much 
rioting, and tended to convey the impression that the 
people were not worthy to be entrusted with power. The 
Council, however, which was nominated by the Crown, 
and the Lieutenant Governor, who was appointed by the 
British government, were the great ruling forces in New 
Brunswick at that period. The Council then exercised 
legislative as well as executive functions, and absorbed 
most of the authority which was not assumed by the 
Governor. The latter received his instructions from 
England as to the manner in which he should conduct 
the affairs of the Province, and these instructions, which 
were very voluminous, embraced nearly every topic on 
which he was likely to find his judgment exercised. In 
a general way they gave him authority over a great many 
matters with which a Governor at the present day has 
nothing to do. The Governor virtually controlled the 
appointments to office, although these appointments were 
sometimes nominally made with the advice of his Council. 
When, however, there came to be a question between the 
Council and the Governor, the former always had to yield. 
The royal prerogative, as it was termed, was supposed to 
be pre-eminent and to override the wishes of both the 
Council and the Assembly. This condition of affairs, so 
unfavorable to the development of popular government, 
was greatly promoted by the fact that the Governor had 
control of a large amount of public revenue quite inde- 
pendent of either branch of the Legislature. The casual 


and territorial revenues, which were the names given to 
the revenues derived from the crown lands of the Province, 
and also the imperial duties, which were collected by 
officers appointed by the British government, were at the 
disposal of the Governor without reference to the wishes 
of his advisers. The Imperial government also con- 
trolled the post office, and, though it was not a revenue- 
producing branch of the government, this fact still further 
emphasized the manner in which our affairs were 
governed from Downing Street. 

In 1818 only one member of the original Council of 
the Province, which was appointed in November, 1784, 
was alive. This was the Rev. and Hon. Jonathan Odell, 
who occupied the position of Secretary of the Province 
from 1784 to June, 1812, when he was succeeded by his 
son, William Franklin Odell, who held the position until 
the year 1844. These two Odells, the father and son, 
filled the office of Provincial Secretary of this Province 
for more than sixty years, and no better illustration can 
be found of the manner in which the offices were held 
and patronage dispensed in those days than this single 
fact. The Hon. and Eev. Jonathan Odell had been 
originally an Episcopal clergyman in New Jersey. 
During the war he became chaplain in one of the Loyalist 
corps. Being possessed of considerable influence, he 
succeeded in obtaining the appointments of Provincial 
Secretary, Registrar, and Clerk of the Council of New 
Brunswick when the Province was first established, and 
he was not only able to hold on to that office so long as 


he wished to perform its duties, but to transfer it to his 
son, who held it for a period of thirty-two years. This 
fact shows how little the people had to say in regard to 
the dispensing of the patronage of the Crown at that 
period. The Secretary of the Province naturally obtained 
the ear of the Colonial minister, or what was perhaps 
more to the purpose, of the permanent clerks in the 
Colonial office. He was thus able to check any attempt 
on the part of the people, or of the popular branch of the 
Legislature, to interfere with him, and in this way all 
possibility of reform in the methods of government or 
improvement in the management of the public offices 
became impossible. The salaries of the officials of the 
Province were then large in comparison to what they are 
at present, and the occupants of these offices were able 
to live on a scale much beyond that of any ordinary 
merchant or lawyer. They were strong in social influence 
as well as in political power, and the masses of the people 
viewed their position as unassailable, and for the most 
part acquiesced in the claims which these magnates made 
on behalf of their right to govern the country. The 
Attorney General of the Province in 1818 was Thomas- 
Wetmore, grandfather of the present judge of that name. 
He had held the office from the year 1809, and continued 
to hold it until the year 1828, when he died. The office 
at that time was not as it is at present a political one,, 
but generally its term was for the life of the occupant, or 
till his removal to a judicial position. Jonathan Bliss 
had been Attorney General of the Province from the year 


1785 until the time of Attorney General Wetmore, and 
his resignation of the position was only due to the fact 
of his being appointed Chief Justice of the Province of 
New Brunswick. The Solicitor General in 1818 was 
William Botsford, who a few years later became a judge. 
The Advocate General was Ward Chipman Jr., after- 
wards Chief Justice of New Brunswick. His father, 
Ward Chipman, had held a position in connection with 
the pay office of the Loyalist regiments and became 
Advocate General in 1787, holding that office until he 
was appointed judge in 1809, when he was succeeded by 
his son. He was also appointed Solicitor General in 
1785, and held that office until he became a judge. Thus 
it will be seen that the tendency was altogether in favor 
of making the high offices in the Province hereditary, and / 
that these offices were distributed, not with a view to the 
greatest efficiency in the public service, but in such a 
manner as would best satisfy the demands of those who 
were clamorous for a public position and who had the 
ear of the Governor and his friends. The Treasurer of the 
Province in 1818 was John Robinson, who was also 
Mayor of St. John. The office of Treasurer at that time 
was one of great importance, he being head of the Provin- 
cial customs department, and most of the revenues of the 
Province coming into his hands. When Mr. Robinson died, 
in 1828, he was succeeded by Richard Simonds, but on the 
death of the latter, Beverly Robinson, son of John Rob- 
inson, was appointed to the treasurership, thus again 
illustrating the hereditary principle which prevailed with 


respect to such offices. The composition of the Council 
at the period of which I have been speaking is of much 
interest as illustrating the peculiar system of government 
which prevailed. Jonathan Odell has already been 
mentioned as one of the Council from the beginning, and 
the only survivor of the original Council who was living 
in 1818. The other members of the Council were : 
Christopher Billop, John Saunders, Ward Chipman, 
Jonathan Bliss, John Coffin, John Murray Bliss, William 
Pagan, Thomas Wetmore and John Eobinson. Jonathan 
Bliss was then the Chief Justice of the Province, and 
John Saunders, Ward Chipman and John Murray Bliss 
were judges of the Supreme Court. Thomas Wetmore 
was Attorney General and John Robinson was Treasurer, 
so that nearly all the members of the Council were 
officials of the Province in the receipt of salaries, and not 
depending upon the public for the positions they held. 
The relations of the Council to the Lieutenant Governor 
were generally of an amicable character, as it was natural 
they should be, considering how much his voice had to 
do with their appointment or removal. These men, 
although nominally his advisers, were in no position to 
thwart his wishes, nor did their desires ever go so far as 
cause them to set themselves in opposition to his will. 
On many occasions the Governor made appointments 
without consulting his Council in any way, it being his 
idea that he was the sole dispenser of the royal prerogative, 
and that, as all appointments were supposed to emanate 
from the Crown, he had the right to appoint without 


reference to the views either of the Council or of the 
people of the Province over which he presided. The 
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, for many years 
after the creation of the Province, was Thomas Carleton, 
a brother of Sir Guy Carleton, who was afterwards made 
Lord Dorchester. Thomas Carleton held the office of 
Lieutenant Governor from 1784 until 1817, when he died 
in England. He had resided out of the Province for a 
great number of years previous to his death, and was so 
little known in it that when he died the event excited 
hardly any notice. His successor in the office of Governor 
was General George Stacy Smyth, who had filled the 
office of President on several occasions in the absence of 
Governor Carleton. General Smyth being a military 
man, as Governor Carleton had been, naturally knew but 
little of the civil needs of the Province, and it was not 
until the year 1824 that New Brunswick found, in the 
person of Sir Howard Douglas, a governor, who although 
an officer in the army, was disposed to take an active 
interest in the improvement of the Province with respect 
to those matters which were outside the mere military 
routine. One of the most flagrant evils in connection 
with the system of government which prevailed at that 
time was the union of legislative and executive functions 
in the Council. It was bad enough to have a Council 
acting as advisers of the Lieutenant Governor, composed 
almost exclusively gf office holders and other persons 
who were interested in having no changes made, but 
the evil became intolerable when the Council was invested 


with legislative functions and could reject any bill which 
came to it from the House of Assembly, the body chosen 
by the people. The members of the Council, being per- 
manent in their positions and not removable except at 
the pleasure of the Crown, naturally looked upon them- 
selves as entirely independent of the people, and as 
superior to the persons who composed the popular branch 
of the Legislature. Chief Justice Bliss or Judge Chip- 
man would hardly think the representative of some rural 
constituency his equal in point of learning or political 
knowledge, and where the Council differed from the 
members of the Assembly in regard to any act of legis- 
lation the chances were greatly against the opinion of 
the House of Assembly prevailing. This is why it 
was so long before any reform could be effected in a 
system of government which was essentially vicious, and 
which did not in any respect reflect the views of the 
inhabitants of the Province. The House of Assembly 
might pass as many resolutions as it pleased and send up 
as many bills for the improvement of public affairs as it 
found time to discuss, but the Council was not bound to 
give them any attention or to do otherwise than suppress 
whatever it regarded as a tendency towards popular 
government. At the present day in New Brunswick 
government by the people is so firmly grounded in the 
constitution that men who advocate any other system 
than this are looked upon as relics of a past age ; but in 
those days every man who advocated popular government 
was regarded with suspicion, as a rebel, a Jacobin, a lev- 


eller, a republican, and a malicious person. A free press, 
which is now regarded as essential to popular liberty, was 
then the subject of animadversion and condemnation. 
Many instances might be cited of the manner in which 
the attempts of the House of Assembly to improve 
matters with respect to the system of government were 
frustrated, but some of these will be referred to more 
appropriately in future pages at the time of their occur- 
rence. One of the causes of quarrel between the two 
Houses had been the desire of the members of the 
Assembly to pay themselves for their attendance at the 
meetings of the Legislature, a most wise and sound 
provision, unless we are to surrender the right of legis- 
lation to those who have sufficient means to give up their 
time exclusively to the public without remuneration. 
But at that time the Council regarded the measures taken 
by the House of Assembly to reimburse themselves for 
their attendance as most reprehensible and blameworthy, 
and in this view they were upheld by the Governor. In 
1817 the members of the House of Assembly voted 
themselves fifteen shillings a day during the period of 
their attendance at the Legislature, or going to or coming 
from the House, reckoning twenty miles to a day's 
travel. This vote seems to have passed without remark, 
but in 1818 they set the value of their services at twenty 
shillings a day, and there was a conflict between the two 
Houses in consequence. Finally the matter was settled 
by the same allowance being made to the members of the 
Council. In 1819 the amount voted was likewise twenty 


shillings a day, and it seems to have been accepted by the 
Council. In 1820, however, when the members of the 
new House voted themselves twenty shillings a day for 
their services, the Council resolved, on motion of the 
Attorney General, that the granting of a remuneration to 
the members of the House of Assembly at so high a rate 
as twenty shillings a day, is a lavish and improvident 
grant, and that the further consideration of the bill 
making this grant be postponed for six months. This 
resolve was passed on motion of Mr. Justice Chipman, 
who had been careful in his time to obtain as many 
offices as possible, and to exact as high a rate of remun- 
eration for them as he could manage to squeeze out of 
his employers, whether those employers were the British 
government or the people of the Province of New Bruns- 
wick. The members of the House, however, were not to 
be so defeated, and they placed the obnoxious item in the 
supply bill, so that the Legislative Council had not the 
option of rejecting it. The Lieutenant Governor, in 
proroguing the Legislature, did not forget to remind the 
members of the House of the words of the Council, 
saying that he had not withheld his asjent to the appro- 
priation bill, although it contained an item of expense 
which had been deemed by the Council a lavish and 
improvident grant. It was thus that the members of 
the House of Assembly were accustomed to be lectured 
by the Governor and by the members of the Council, who 
regarded themselves as a superior order of beings. This 
matter serves to illustrate the manner in which the 


business of legislation was conducted by the Governor and 
his alleged advisers, the Council. The year 1819 fur- 
nished another instance of the bad temper of the Governor, 
and of the manner in which he sought to go beyond his 
proper authority. The House of Assembly discovered 
that the Surveyor General had commenced to exact bonds 
from the lessees of timber lands, requiring them to pay a 
shilling a ton for all timber they might cut on the lands 
leased to them. They naturally enquired of the Governor 
\vhat authority he had to make such an arrangement as 
this, and he replied that it was done to prevent the waste 
of timber on the Crown lands. This, however, was not 
a proper answer to the demand, because it was virtually 
levying an export duty on the timber of the Province 
without the authority of the Legislature of New Bruns- 
wick, or of the British Parliament. The Assembly 
persisted in their protests against the acts of the Governor, 
and that functionary came down in a very bad frame of 
mind, at the close of the session, and dissolved the House, 
which had then five years to run, stating : " It is with 
great concern that I notice your persistence in the 
measure to which your attention has been very recently 
called, which conduct I cannot suffer to pass unnoticed, 
consistent with the duty I owe to my Sovereign. The only 
mode which you have now left me to do this is by dis- 
solving this General Assembly." Thus was the business 
of New Brunswick conducted seventy years ago, when 
Governors imagined themselves to be vested, not only 
with the prerogatives of the Crown, but with the whole 


power of the Imperial Parliament. The power of the 
Governor to regulate matters in the Province without 
the authority of the Legislature was greatly increased 
by the fact that a certain proportion of the revenue 
was collected under Imperial authority and could 
be expended by him without any reference what- 
ever to the Legislature. , The British government, under 
a number of acts of parliament, had been in the habit of 
levying import duties on certain products that were 
imported into the Province of New Brunswick. To do 
this they maintained their own customs establishments, 
so that the Imperial customs and the revenue officers of 
the Province both exacted duties upon the same article. 
The head of the Provincial customs establishment was 
termed the Province Treasurer, and his officers, who acted 
as collectors of duties at the several outports, were 
designated Deputy Treasurers. The Imperial officers, on 
the other hand, went by their proper names as Collectors 
and Deputy Collectors at the several ports. This 
arrangement lasted for many years after the time of 
which I have been speaking, and was productive of great 
inconvenience. One of its results was to seriously impair 
the export trade of the Province, for, while goods imported 
into New Brunswick from foreign parts were allowed to 
be bonded by the Provincial authorities, if intended 
for export, they were required to pay duty to the Im- 
perial authorities, whether intended for export or not, 
and no drawback was allowed. It was also a subject 
of complaint, both in New Brunswick and Nova 


Scotia, that the customs authorities charged enormous 
fees on shipping, so as to seriously embarrass the 
coasting trade between the two Provinces. The customs 
authorities treated New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince 
Edward Island and Cape Breton as separate countries, 
charging fees on their intercourse with each other in 
the same manner as on foreign voyages ; so that a 
vessel clearing at St. John for a port in Nova Scotia 
had to pay as high customs charges as if she was bound 
to the East Indies or to Liverpool. The fee charged on 
a coaster going from a New Brunswick port to a Nova 
Scotia port was 2 2s., which of itself was enough to put 
a stop to the trade which naturally existed between the 
two Provinces. It was not until the year 1825 that this 
enormous evil was rectified by the Imperial act, 6 
George IV., Ch. 14, which abolished or reduced to 
reasonable proportions the fees chargeable on the coasting 
trade, and which placed the customs establishments in 
the several Provinces on a more liberal footing. By that 
act the net produce of the revenue collected under the 
several acts of parliament was to be applied to the use 
of the Colony, so that the Legislature of New Brunswick 
obtained control at once of a large amount of money which 
before had gone into the Imperial exchequer. Even this, 
however, did not prove altogether satisfactory, because 
the salaries of customs officials still continued to be paid 
out of the gross amount of revenue collected, and over 
these salaries the Legislature of the Province had no 
control. It was also a cause of complaint that, while the 


shipping interests of the Province derived great advan- 
tages from the reduction or abolition of the fees formerly 
payable to the officers of the customs, these advantages 
were neutralized to some extent by the fact that Colonial 
vessels still remained liable to heavy charges in foreign 
ports, while British ships and the ships of foreigners, 
which formerly paid fees towards the support of the 
custom house establishment in the Province, were 
admitted free from any fees or imposts whatever. In 
addition to this large source of revenue from customs 
the Imperial government retained all the lands of the 
Province, and the revenue collected from them, which 
was called the casual and territorial revenue, went into 
the Imperial exchequer. This revenue was chargeable 
with the salaries of certain officials in the Province, 
designated His Majesty's civil list, but it was altogether 
outside the control of the Legislature of New Brunswick, 
and the manner of collecting it and the amount collected 
were regulated by the authorities of Downing Street. 
Under this system corruption flourished, extravagance 
reigned supreme, and the Surveyor General, who was 
head of the Crown Land Department, became a great 
personage with a large revenue, sometimes greater than 
that of the Lieutenant Governor, and with more political 
influence than any official ought to possess. 

In those days the fees exacted by the Surveyor General 
and other officials on land grants were also the subject of 
complaint. It appeared from a return which was made 
by the Governor in reply to an address of the Legislature 


in 1819, that the fees exacted on a grant of land not 
exceeding 300 acres in extent, amounted to 11 13s. 4d., 
equal to almost $47 of the money of the present day. Of 
this sum the Governor received 4 Is. 8d., the Secretary 
3 7s. 6d., the Attorney General 1 10s. 10d., the 
Surveyor General 2, and the Auditor General 
2 13s. 4d. It will be seen by this that these officials, 
who virtually controlled the affairs of the Province, had 
a direct pecuniary interest in the issuing of land grants, 
and that while on the one hand the fees exacted were 
enormous and excessive, on the other hand it was to their 
advantage to encourage the issuing of grants to as large 
an extent as possible. This was an almost certain means 
of defeating the object of the Legislature to effect the 
settlement of the Province by industrious workers, for 
the fees, while high on all grants, were excessive on the 
smaller ones, and the burthen diminished in proportion 
as the grants became large. In an address which was 
presented to -the King in the year 1831 by the Legis- 
lature, the grievances under which the Province suffered 
from the operation of the system of dealing with the 
Crown lands, were duly set forth. It was stated that 
under this system very large sums were taken from the 
people of the Province for licenses to cut timber, and that 
enormous fees were exacted without the authority of 
Parliament or of the Legislature. It was complained 
that the Commissioner of Crown lands imposed on timber 
licenses a duty of Is. 3d. per ton and exacted a fee of 
45s., thereby injuring the subject without benefiting the 


revenue. It is no wonder that under the circumstances 
the members expressed their opinion that such a system 
of taxation, without authority, was incompatible with free 
government, and required redress. 

Another great evil in connection with the system of 
government which existed in the year 1818 was the 
absence of executive responsibility. The money which 
was received by the Province went into the office of the 
Provincial Treasurer freely enough, but the manner in 
which it was to be disposed of was largely left to chance. 
There was no executive authority in the Province at that 
time, which exercised the same functions as the Executive 
Council of the present day. The Governor was not 
responsible to any person but the Crown or the British 
government. The members of the Council were not 
responsible to the people, and were selected without 
reference to the wishes of the people ; and while the 
House of Assembly could withhold grants of money which 
were necessary for the public service, the manner in 
which these grants were made was highly unsatisfactory, 
and demoralizing in its tendency. At the present time 
the business of the Executive has to be considered as a 
whole, and the government is responsible for the due 
disbursement of the public money for the public services. 
The government is supposed to know how much money 
it will have at its disposal, and how much it can afford 
to pay, and any attempt on the part of the House of 
Assembly to force it to grant a larger sum than it con- 
siders the finances of the Province can afford, would be 


regarded as a vote of want of confidence, and would lead 
to its resignation. For that reason all money grants 
which are moved in the Assembly must be initiated by 
the Executive, and no private member can present a 
petition asking for money, or can introduce a bill requiring 
the payment of money, without the assent of the govern- 
ment. But in 1818 the disposal of the money was 
entrusted to a committee which doled out grants for the 
public services in such a manner that no one was respon- 
sible for them. This led to what was called a system of 
" log rolling," by which a member who desired grants for 
his own locality agreed to support the grants of members 
from other localities on condition that his demands were 
supported by them. Thus the member for Queens, who 
wished to have a new road opened in a country district, 
and wanted a grant for that purpose, agreed to support a 
similar demand from the member for York or the 
member for St. John, on condition that his grant was 
supported by them. It is easy to see that under this 
system there was no check whatever on extravagance, 
and that sums of money might be voted for grants far 
beyond the ability of the Province to pay, no one having 
any very clear idea of what the income of the Province 
was or might be during a certain year, and everybody 
being anxious to obtain as much money as possible for 
his own district. 'It will be seen by and by how strongly 
the effort to bring about a change of system and the in- 
troduction of responsible government was resisted even 
by those who were most opposed to the arbitrary and 


absurd restrictions imposed on the Province by the 
Colonial office. There were many men who were ready 
to resist the exactions of the customs authorities and 
denounce the extravagance of the Crown Land Depart- 
mentj who, when it came to the placing of the control of 
the finances of the Province in the hands of the Executive, 
exclaimed against the proposed innovation and denounced 
it as an infringement on their liberties. Fortunately for 
New Brunswick, these half-hearted friends of improve- 
ment who halted by the way, were not able to prevent 
altogether the introduction of responsible government in 
its integrity, although they contrived to retard it for a 
good many years. 

Another great cause of complaint at the system of 
government which prevailed in this Province in the year 
1818 was the predominance that was given to members 
of the Church of England. Of the nine members of the 
Council who were in office in that year, all but one 
belonged to the Church of England. Every judge of the 
Supreme Court belonged to the same communion, and 
indeed the first judge appointed in New Brunswick who 
was not a member of the Church of England was the 
Honorable L. A. Wilmot, who took his seat for the first 
time on the Bench in 1851, after the Province had been 
in existence for almost seventy years. The same state 
of things was found to exist with regard to the other 
offices, the fact that a man was a member of the Church 
of England placing him in a much more favorable position 
for obtaining an office than if he belonged to one of those 


bodies which were called Dissenters. In the Province 
of Nova Scotia, in the year 1809, the bishop was made a 
member of the Council, and soon afterwards the Bishop 
of Nova Scotia was appointed a member of the Council 
of New Brunswick. In July, 1826, the Eight Eeverend 
John Inglis, Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia, took his seat 
as a member of the Council of New Brunswick, while on 
a visit to this portion of his diocese. This was the first 
and only instance of the Bishop of Nova Scotia exercising 
his rights as a member of the New Brunswick Council, 
but the fact that such an instance should have occurred 
shows that the right might have been exercised at any 
time, and also emphasizes, in a very marked manner, the 
evil and injustice of the system of government which 
permitted the head of one denomination of Christians to 
exercise the functions of an executive councillor and a 
member of the upper branch of the Legislature, while 
ministers of other denominations were not only excluded, 
but were expressly disqualified, by act of the Legislature, 
from being elected members of the House of Assembly. 
In Nova Scotia the bishop was given precedence in the 
Council after the Chief Justice, but his appointment was 
with the understanding that he was not to administer the 
government in case of the death or absence of the 
Lieutenant Governor, and this appears also to have been 
his status in New Brunswick. 

But while clergymen were disqualified from occupying 
seats in the Legislature, office holders who were in the 
receipt of a salary from the Province were eligible to be 


members of the Council or members of the House. This 
still further tended to create an official class, and it also 
enabled certain greedy individuals to acquire numerous 
offices for themselves, so that sometimes one man in each 
county would absorb nearly all the official positions in it 
which were of any pecuniary value. At a period later 
than that when this history commences, there was one 
practising lawyer in New Brunswick, who afterwards 
became a judge of the Supreme Court, who at one time 
was a member of the House of Assembly for the County 
of Kent, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Postmaster 
of Eichibucto, Deputy Treasurer of Eichibucto, Issuer of 
Marriage Licenses for the County of Kent, Keeper of 
the Seals and Clerk of the Peace and of the Inferior Court 
of Common Pleas for the County of Kent, and Eegistrar 
of the Probate Court for the County of Kent. Nor was 
this a solitary instance of a plurality of offices in one 
individual. Many other examples could be given if it 
were necessary, in which one person absorbed half a dozen 
or more offices, and thereby acquired a powerful influence, 
altogether out of proportion to his merits and wholly 
incompatible with the efficiency of the public service. 
The manner in which appointments to office were made, 
and the utter powerlessness of the people to control the 
appointing power led to great abuses, and to a tyrannical 
exercise of authority on the part of those who held offices. 
Few men are so good or so conscientious that they will 
not abuse their authority if they are subject to no control, 
and the " insolence of office," of which Shakespeare 


speaks, was very prevalent in the Province of New 
Brunswick in the year 1818, and for many years after- 
wards. In these days by the aid of a free press and 
under the system of appointment, by which the responsi- 
bility is placed on the government, no official dares to 
presume to abuse his power or to treat the public with 
incivility. But such was not the case seventy years ago, 
when men were pitch-forked into power and authority 
who treated the common people as if they were the dirt 
beneath their feet, and regarded those who ventured to 
criticize their conduct as seditious persons, who were 
almost guilty of rebellion. 

There were two circumstances connected with the time 
of which I have been speaking, which it is necessary to 
mention in this connection. The treaty of peace between 
Great Britain and the United States, by which the inde- 
pendence of the latter was acknowledged, had left the 
boundary question in a very unsatisfactory condition. 
The person who represented Great Britain in that treaty 
was evidently altogether ignorant of the topography of 
the country between the United States and the remaining 
British possessions on this continent, and as a consequene 
of this, the description of the boundary was of such a 
character as to be utterly inexplicable. The boundary line 
of the United States was declared to be "from the north- 
west angle of Nova Scotia, to wit, that angle which is 
formed by a line drawn due north from the source of the 
St. Croix Eiver to the highlands which divide those 
rivers that empty themselves into the River St. Lawrence 


from those which flow into the Atlantic Ocean, to the 
northwestermost head of Connecticut River, thence down 
along the middle of that river to the 45th degree of north 
latitude, etc." The first difficulty which presented itself 
in regard to this boundary line was the determination of 
which of the rivers that entered Passamaquoddy Bay was 
the St. Croix. This was finally determined by a com- 
mission, which concluded its labors in 1798, and which 
decided that the true St. Croix was the river which now 
bears that name. When this matter had been settled 
there still remained the further difficulty of discovering 
the highlands which divided the rivers which empty 
themselves into the River St. Lawrence from those which 
flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It has now long been 
known that no such highlands exist, and that the search 
for them was as vain as the quest for the philosopher's 
stone. But the matter for many years continued in 
controversy, and the boundary question was not settled 
until the Ashburton treaty in the year 1842. After the 
war between the United States and Great Britain, which 
commenced in 1812, the treaty of peace, which was 
arranged at Ghent, made provision for deciding as to the 
ownership of the lands in dispute, particularly with refer- 
ence to the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay, Grand Manan, 
Campobello and other islands which were claimed by 
the United States. The treaty provided for the appoint- 
ment of two commissioners, one to be selected by his 
Britannic Majesty, and one by the President of the United 
States, to decide the question. These commissioners were 


also charged With the duty of ascertaining the northwest 
angle of Nova Scotia, in order that that part of the bound- 
ary might be defined. The commissioners appointed were 
Colonel Barclay, who had for his agent the Hon. Ward 
Chipman of New Brunswick, and the Hon. John Holmes, 
of Massachusetts, for the United States. Their first 
meeting was held in September, 1816, and at the opening 
of the Legislature in January, 1818, Lieutenant Governor 
Smyth was able to congratulate that body on the fact 
that the final decision of the commissioners in respect to 
the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay had been made, and 
that Grand Manan, Campobello and other important 
islands had been found to belong to Great Britain ; Moose 
Island and two other small islands of no importance 
being given to the United States. The fishery question 
at the same time became one of great consequence to the 
people of the Maritime Provinces. By the treaty of 1783 
the people of the United States were allowed to continue 
to enjoy unmolested the right to take fish " off Quebec in 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and all other places in the sea 
where the inhabitants of both countries used at any time 
heretofore to fish." And they were also allowed to have 
liberty to take fish on such parts of the coast of New- 
foundland as British fishermen should use, and also on 
the coasts, bays and rivers of all other of His Majesty's 
bays and dominions. In addition .to this they had also 
liberty to dry their fish in any of the bays of Nova Scotia, 
the Magdalen Islands and Labrador. Thus it will be 
seen that the treaty of 1783 virtually gave to the people 


of the United States concurrent rights of fishing with 
the fishermen who were subjects of Great Britain, and 
had that state of affairs continued to exist, the fishery 
disputes which have since taken place would either never 
have arisen, or would have assumed an entirely different 
form. But it was held by the British authorities, after 
the war of 1812, that the provisions of the treaty of 1783 
which related to fishing had been abrogated by the war, 
and that new arrangements must be made in regard to 
the fisheries. Thus in 1817 a circular from the British 
government to the collectors of customs and light dues at 
the different ports of the Maritime Provinces stated that 
American fishermen were not to be permitted to frequent 
the harbors, bays or creeks of the Maritime Provinces, 
unless driven into them by actual distress. The difficul- 
ties between the two governments in regard to these 
rights of fishing finally resulted in the arrangement of a 
treaty, which was made at London, between Great Britain 
and the United States, on the 20th of October, 1818, and 
which was ratified at Washington in the following Janu- 
ary. This treaty, which is the one now in force, defined 
the rights of the Americans with regard to fishing on our 
coasts, and excluded them from our waters within three 
marine miles of the coasts, bays and creeks of His 
Majesty's dominions. The Americans by this treaty 
explicitly renounced forever any liberty before enjoyed or 
claimed by them to take, dry and cure fish within three 
marine miles of our coasts, bays or harbors. The treaty 
defined their rights to enter our bays or harbors to be "for 


the purpose of shelter, of repairing damages therein, of 
purchasing wood and obtaining water, and for no other 
purpose whatever." The arrangement of this treaty, 
which has had such an important bearing on the relations 
of Canada and the United States since that time, was an 
important event connected with the history of the year 

The revenue of the Province in 1818, and during the 
years which followed that period, was subject to great 
fluctuations. In 1818 the entire receipts of the Province, 
which went into the hands of the Provincial Treasurer, 
amounted to a total of 15,348 7s. 6d., while the expen- 
diture was 22,859 7s. 9d. Fortunately there was a 
large balance from the previous year, so that notwith- 
standing the deficit in the revenue, there still remained a 
surplus at the close of the year. In 1819 the revenue 
received, exclusive of seizures, amounted to 23,338 
10s. 8d., while the expenditure was 20,886 16s. lOd. 
That year 8,925 in treasury notes were issued, a device 
which was frequently resorted to when money was 
required. In 1820 the receipts, exclusive of a loan, 
amounted to 27,904 18s. 10d., and the expenditure to 
20,408 15s. 3d. The revenue sometimes showed a 
handsome surplus over the expenditure, and at other 
times was deficient, the import trade apparently not being 
established on the same sound and stable lines which 
prevail at the present day, but much of it being of a 
speculative character. It is amusing to contrast the 
small sums which were deemed sufficient to defray the 


expenses of the Province at that peiiod in comparison 
with what is now required even for our mere Provincial 
concerns, to say nothing of the amount expended on 
Dominion account, and the large sums disbursed by the 
municipalities. Small as the grants were for the different 
services at that period, it not infrequently happened that 
a large part of them were not expended, either in conse- 
quence of the lack of money in the treasury, or because 
the work for which the grants was made was postponed 
to a later day. In 1821 a committee was appointed to 
enquire and report what sums of money heretofore granted 
remained unpaid, and what would be the disposable funds 
of the Province, which had arisen or would be likely to 
arise from the revenue in the course of the current year. 
This committee found that during the previous two years 
no less than 23,732 14s. 4d. of money which had been 
appropriated to the public services had not been expended. 
Of this sum 1,845 was on account of bounties on fish, 
425 was on account of bounties on grain, 2,700 was 
money granted for the encouragement of schools and 
5,000 was money granted for bye-roads. As the balance 
in the Provincial chest was 121 16s. less than the total 
of these unexpended grants, the committee could only 
report that there were no disposable funds in the treasury. 
Thus the public services at that time were maintained in 
a very inefficient manner, mainly because of the smallness 
of the revenue available for public needs. When we take 
into account how much had to be done in the way of 
opening up the Province by the construction of roads, the 


building of bridges, and in other ways, we must admire 
the courage of those who undertook to reduce the wilder- 
ness into subjection with such inadequate resources. 
Nothing but the adaptability of the people of that period 
to their circumstances, and their willingness to endure 
privations for the sake of living under the British flag, 
would have sufficed to do the work which has since been 
accomplished. It was fortunate that New Brunswick 
had so hardy and self-reliant a population, even if they 
were somewhat deficient in political discernment, and 
thought too much of the prerogatives of the Crown, for, 
after thirty -five years of settlement, the Province was, in 
1818, little better than a wilderness, and the conveniences 
for travel were of such a character as we should at the 
present day regard as utterly inadequate. He would 
have been a bold man who would have ventured to 
predict that during the seventy years that were to follow, 
not only would the constitution of the Province be 
entirely changed, but that its material advancement would 
be so great that the most distant point in it could be 
reached from St. John in the course of a few hours, and 
that no county within its boundaries would be without 
rapid and regular communication. 

The foregoing sketch of the political condition of New- 
Brunswick in 1818 is necessarily brief and somewhat 
incomplete, because the subject will be more fully devel- 
oped as our narrative advances, and as the story of 
the means adopted to bring about responsible govern- 
ment is related. It is sufficient here to indicate 


slightly, and in a general way, the leading features of the 
system of government at that period, and to leave the 
details to be told as they arise in the course of the 




The Province of New Brunswick was always the most 
conservative of the British colonies of North America, 
and that feature of its condition has been retained until 
the present time. In Upper Canada the Loyalist element 
was smaller in number than in New Brunswick, and was 
mixed largely with immigrants from the United States 
who came after the Ilevoluntionary war for the sake of 
the fine lands of that Province ; and at a later period a 
very large immigration took place from the British Islands 
of people who had no particular sympathy with the 
views of the Loyalists, and who were imbued with that 
spirit of political unrest which had begun to prevail in the 
mother country at that period. In the Province of 
Quebec, the French element, though conservative during 
the French regime, became radical under British rule, and 
was always arrayed in opposition to the governing classes, 
who were mainly British. Thus the French, in spite of 
themselves, became a valuable aid in the regeneration of 
the Provinces from the old system of government. In 
the Province of Nova Scotia the original settlers were 


English, and they were largely reinforced by immigrants 
from the New England colonies who came prior to the 
Eevolutionary war, and who were in sympathy, to a 
large extent, with the principles of the American revolu- 
tion. The Loyalists were never as numerous in Nova 
Scotia as in New Brunswick, and never possessed one 
tithe of the influence there that they possessed here. In 
New Brunswick the original settlers from New England, 
who resided at Maugerville, Sheffield, and some parts of 
the County of Queens, were insignificant in numbers in 
comparison with the Loyalists, and they had become so 
cowed after their unsuccessful attempt to cast their lot 
with the Bevolutionists in the year 1777 that they never 
possessed any political importance afterwards. For this 
reason, and because of the small dimensions of the immi- 
gration from Europe, the Loyalists possessed absolute 
control of the government of this Province for a period of 
more than half a century after its formation, and if the 
matter were now examined into closely, it would be found 
that they still possess a preponderating influence in Pro- 
vincial affairs. 

In those days the term "loyalty" was frequently 
mis-used in its application. Instead of being taken as 
another word for patriotism and devotion to the flag which 
floated over the Province, it was used merely as being 
applicable to a condition of mind which impelled a man 
to support the existing order of things, whether it was 
right or wrong. Nothing seems more absurd to us of the 
present day, who look back upon the long dreary period 


of family compact rule, than to find every person who 
desired to change this system and to make it more in 
accordance with the wishes of the people, denounced as an 
innovator, as a seditious person and a disloyal man. Our 
ancestors in New Brunswick seem to have had a great 
horror of the word " innovation," and any one who could 
raise that cry and shout it loudly and frequently enough 
was sure to obtain an attentive hearing and a large 
following. Yet for all that from the very beginning of 
the Province there were signs that many were not satis- 
fied with things as they were. There were disputes at 
the very foundation of the Oolony over land grants, 
which were thought to have been unfairly distributed, 
and not in accordance with the wishes of the home 
government. There were, likewise, difficulties in regard 
to the cost of surveying the lands, and also in reference 
to the fees that were exacted upon grants. When the 
Legislature was formed the dissatisfaction of many was 
practically expressed in riots at the polls, and in the 
return to the House of Assembly of members who were 
not in sympathy with the ruling classes. As early as 
1795 we find great commotion caused in the Province by 
a Mr. Glennie, who was a candidate for the representation 
of the County of Sunbury, and who addressed a long 
speech to the freeholders on their grievances, which was 
printed in pamphlet form. In 1802 there were difficul- 
ties in regard to matters of appropriation between the 
House of Assembly and the Council, which led to a 
number .of the members of the House withdrawing them- 


selves from their attendance there and going home ; and 
these proceedings resulted in the issuing of more 
pamphlets for and against the course adopted. In those 
days, and for a long time afterwards, the Governors were 
in the habit of lecturing the Assembly, as if they were a 
set of school boys. This course was commenced by 
Governor Carleton, who, in 1795, expressed his indigna- 
tion at the Assembly because they refused to pass some 
appropriations which had been recommended by him for 
the general defence of the Province. At that time, and 
for long afterwards, the House of Assembly and the 
Council were in disagreement, and this state of affairs 
continued more or less down to the time when responsible 
government became an acknowledged feature of the 
constitution. The home authorities always sided with 
the Governor, and reflected severely on the Assembly 
whenever that body was so unfortunate as to differ from 
the views of His Excellency. The House always claimed 
the right to make the appropriations for the public 
service, and rejected the claim of the Council to amend 
or modify such money bills as were passed by the Assem- 
bly. In 1796 the Duke of Portland, who then was at 
the head of the department which had the charge of 
Colonial affairs, laid down the rule that while the appro- 
priation of monies voted was peculiarly within the 
province of the Assembly, the directing of the actual 
payment of the public accounts and contingencies by the 
House of Assembly was an improper encroachment on 
the functions of the Executive government.. He con- 


demned the practice which had been adopted of inserting 
different and distinct, as well as disputed points, in money 
bills, and said that persistence in this practice would 
result in absolute annihilation of the other deliberative 
branch of the Legislature. He quoted a standing order 
of the House of Lords, which had been made in 1702, in 
which it is declared " that the annexing any clause or 
clauses to a bill of aid or supply, the matter of which is 
foreign and different from the matter of the said bill, is un- 
parliamentary , and tends to the destruction of the constitu- 
tion of this government." He added that such matter should 
be brought forward as separate bills, thereby admitting a 
free and candid discussion. He thought that a steady 
adherence to this rule would heal the differences between 
the House and the Council. They do not seem to have 
healed their differences, however, because a year later, 
in June, 1797, the Duke of Portland is again addressing 
Governor Carle ton on the subject, and expressing His 
Majesty's regret and displeasure that difficulties still 
exist between the Council and the Assembly of New 
Brunswick. The differences then seem to have arisen in 
consequence of the desire of the members of the Assembly 
to grant themselves a remuneration for their attendance, 
and the Duke of Portland expressed the opinion that such 
a measure could only tend to lessen the weight and 
dignity of the Assembly and to diminish the reverence 
and respect which he hoped the Province would always 
show to its Legislature. Another communication, dated 
a year, later, June 5th, 1798, from the same nobleman, 


expressed still further concern at the differences which 
continued to prevail to the injury of the joint interests 
of the Crown and the Province. These references show 
the nature of the differences which existed between the 
Council and the Assembly, but they do not involve those 
principles of good government for which New Brunswick 
had to strive so earnestly in future years and which were 
finally triumphantly successful. We may therefore date 
the first awakening of the Assembly to the anomalous 
condition of their constitution, and the unsatisfactory, 
manner in which they were governed, to the year 1818. 
For some years before that time Governor Carleton had 
been absent from the Province, and public affairs had 
been administered by successive " Presidents," as they 
were called, who stood in the place of the Governor, but 
who probably had not the ear of the authorities at home 
to the same extent. But when a new Governor was 
appointed, in the person of General George Stacey Smyth, 
a man with very high views of the royal prerogative and 
of his own importance, then there began to be that friction 
between the Assembly and the Executive which finally 
resulted in an entire change of the system. The term 
" royal prerogative " was one which had a sweet sound to 
many of the old inhabitants of the Province at that period, 
they apparently being impressed with the idea that there 
was some connection between the maintenance of the 
royal prerogative and the maintenance of their liberties. 
But when the prerogative came to be used as a cover for 
scandals of the worst description, for robbery of the people 


by means of avaricious office holders, and for disregard of 
the wishes of the Legislature, then it ceased to be so 

General Smyth adroitly took advantage of his position 
as Lieutenant Governor of the Province and endeavored 
to manufacture a public opinion hostile to all reform. In 
the year 1820, at the opening of the Legislature, we find 
him addressing the gentlemen of the Council and the 
gentlemen of the House of Assembly as follows : 

" It cannot but be a subject of anxiety and regret that 
a spirit utterly hostile to our excellent constitution, and 
subversive of all order in society is so fully manifest in 
various parts of Great Britain, but I trust that the senti- 
ments of veneration for His Majesty, and decided deter- 
mination to resist all innovation, expressed in the 
addresses of the industrious and most respectable classes 
of society to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, will 
dissipate this, I hope temporary, gloom, an event which 
would afford to none a more lively satisfaction than to the 
loyal inhabitants of this Province. And it would give 
me, gentlemen, much pleasure to have the honor of 
conveying to the throne, from you, their sentiments upon 
those proceedings, so highly interesting both to His 
Majesty and his people." 

The trouble to which the Governor thus referred 
was the first wave of the reform movement which after- 
wards swept over England and buried feudalism beneath 
its waters. In 1819 and 1820 the pepple of England 
began to think that some change was needed in their 


representative system, and the constitutional agitation 
which they then commenced for that purpose, is what 
Governor Smyth found to be such " a subject of anxiety 
and regret," that he asked the Legislature to address His 
Majesty on the matter. In reply to this speech of Gov- 
ernor Smyth's, the Assembly expressed their unfeigned 
sorrow that a spirit of disaffection prevailed in many 
parts of Great Britain, and said that "they are astonished 
that men can be so blind to the blessings of our glorious 
constitution as to attempt the subversion of it." They 
trusted, however, "that the loyalty of the better informed 
part of the nation will speedily check this evil and avert 
from the country the destructive consequences which at 
one time were but too much to be apprehended." They 
thanked His Excellency for the high opinion he had 
expressed of the loyalty of the people of the Province, 
and for his offer to convey their sentiments to the throne, 
and closed in the following words : 

" Far removed from the suggestions of the seditious, 
His Majesty's dutiful subjects in this Province are fully 
sensible that their happiness here and hereafter must 
depend upon the cultivation of the principles of religion 
and a just subordination to lawful authority, always 
bearing in mind the moral precept 'To Fear God and 
Honor the King.' " 

The very day this address was passed the House of As- 
sembly resolved that a committee be appointed to request 
the Council to join the House in an humble address to 
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, expressive of the 


sentiments they entertained of "the loyalty of His 
Majesty's subjects in New Brunswick, and of their firm 
and inviolate attachment to His Majesty's person and 
government." A joint address, couched in this strain, 
appears to have been agreed to by both Houses, without 
any protest being entered against it by any member of 
either House, and it was duly forwarded to the Prince 
Eegent, as an expression of the sentiments of the people 
of New Brunswick in regard to the constitutional agitation 
for reform which was then going on in the British 
Islands. Such a proof of the slavishness and ignorance 
which characterized the proceedings of the Legislature of 
the Province of New Brunswick at that time will serve 
to emphasize the difficulty which reformers must have 
experienced in obtaining any substantial improvement in 
the constitution of the Province. Our Tories at that 
period, not content with insisting on the maintenance of 
the "family compact" and the irresponsible system of 
government which prevailed in New Brunswick, must 
needs extend the sphere of their influence to the British 
Isles, and attempt to give their moral support to the 
obstructionist party which sought to perpetuate all the 
.monstrous evils of the unreformed British constitution, 
by which the whole power of the state was centred in a 
few privileged individuals, while the masses were wholly 

In describing the various steps by which the constitu- 
tion of the Province was improved until it reached the 
form in which it existed prior to the confederation of the 


Provinces, it will be convenient to take up each particu- 
lar reform separately, and trace its progress from the first 
agitation on the subject until the change asked for was 

Among the first of the grievances to which the atten- 
tion of the House of Assembly was called in 1818, was 
the excessive fees charged on land grants. These fees, 
as already stated, amounted to the enormous sum of 
11 13s. 4d. on a lot of land not exceeding three hundred 
acres, and where a lot of a thousand acres was granted to 
ten grantees in severalty, under the scale of fees that then 
existed, the amount chargeable was 49 12s. 7d., which 
was not very much less than the value of the land itself. 
By this system of enormous fees the officials of the Gov- 
ernment became enriched, while the settlement of the 
Province was discouraged. The House of Assembly, in 
1818, passed an address to His Excellency, the Lieuten- 
ant Governor, asking for copies of such parts of the royal 
instructions as related to the granting of Crown lands and 
fees on grants. It appears that the officials had been in 
the habit of compelling each applicant for Crown lands 
to take out a separate grant, thereby greatly increasing 
their profits, whereas the House maintained that the 
royal instructions contemplated the granting of lands to 
several grantees in a single grant. A committee of the 
House, which was appointed to examine the royal 
instructions, reported that they could find nothing in the 
instructions to justify the system adopted in the Crown 
land office, compelling each applicant to take out a sep- 


arate grant, and that the table of fees showed that the 
instructions contemplated more than one applicant being 
included in a grant. They also reported that if this 
system was pursued it would be injurious to the Province, 
and a prohibition against future settlement. Acting 
on this report, the House again requested His Excellency 
to furnish them with such parts of the royal instructions 
as directed that not more than one grantee should be 
included in any one grant. In reply to this, His Excel- 
lency said that he had already communicated such parts 
of the royal instructions as he deemed necessary, and he 
sent them a copy of a letter from Lord Bathurst, relating 
to the mode of passing the King's grants. This letter does 
not appear in the journals of 1818, but committee of 
the House reported that Lord Bathurst did not sufficiently 
know the facts in regard to the mode of granting lands in 
this Province, and that his letter did not sanction the 
system then so universally complained of, compelling 
each applicant to take out a separate grant. This was 
followed up by a resolution of the House of Assembly for 
a joint address, (with the Council) to the Prince Eegent, 
asking him to direct that the practice of including several 
grantees in one grant, be again adopted. The Council, 
however, with its usual obsequiousness to the authority 
of the Governor, declined to concur in this address, 
whereupon the House requested that official to 
transmit their address to the Prince Eegent, 
without reference to the Council. This was done and, 
the following year, a reply to the address was 


received from Lord Bathurst, in which he stated 
that he saw no objection to continuing the system 
of including a number of grantees in one grant, provided 
that in every grant the lands were distinctly appor- 
tioned to the several grantees, and that each grantee was 
separately and as fully bound to fulfil the conditions of 
the grant as to his own lot, as if he had taken it out as his 
own particular grant. Thus one important reform was 
achieved, which materially reduced the gains of officials, 
and made it possible for a number of poor men to unite 
in a land grant, thereby saving large sums in fees, and so 
assisting in the settlement of the Province. 

It has been already stated that under the original 
system, with respect to the solemnization of marriages, 
the only religious persons authorized to solemnize 
marriages were clergymen of the Church of England, 
ministers of the Kirk of Scotland, Quakers, and clergymen 
of the Koman Catholic church. This was felt to be an 
intolerable grievance, because it excluded all dissenters, 
so called, that is to say, all who were not in communion 
with the Church of England, with the Kirk of Scotland, or 
with the Roman Catholic church. Methodists, Baptists, 
and all Presbyterians, except those connected with the 
Church of Scotland, were excluded from the operation of 
this marriage law. The agitation for a change in this 
system commenced at an early period, and as early as 
1821 a bill passed the House of Assembly, authorizing 
all ministers of the gospel to solemnize marriage. The 
vote by which this bill was finally passed was a narrow 


one, thirteen "yeas" to eleven "nays," all the ancient 
Tories being, as was to be expected, ranged against the 
so called innovation. It may be interesting to note that 
among those who opposed this just measure were Hugh 
Johnston, Harry Peters and Ward Chipman, jr., of St. 
John, and John Allen, of the County of York, while John 
Wilmot, Charles Simonds and Andrew S. Ritchie, of St. 
John, and Peter Fraser, John Dow and Stair Agnew, of 
the County of York, were on the side of reform. The 
two members for Kings County of that day, John C. 
Vail and David B. Whitmore, were against the bill, 
while of the Queens County members one, William 
Peters, was for it, and the other, Samuel Scovil, was 
against it. This bill was defeated in the Council, a fate 
that befel many subsequent bills of the same kind in that 
body. For several years the House of Assembly con- 
tinued to pass the dissenters' marriage bill, and the 
Council as steadily to reject it. The opposition to this 
measure in the House gradually died away, until in 1830 
there was no division taken on its passage, but that made 
no difference in regard to the attitude of the Council 
towards it, and the bill was rejected, as it had been so 
many times before. In 1831 a dissenters' marriage bill 
was again passed by the new House of Assembly, which 
met that year, and when a committee was appointed to 
search the journals of the Council to learn what had 
become of their bill, they found the following entry, the 
like of which will be found repeated hundreds of times 
in the published journals of the Legislative Council. It 


is republished here for the purpose of showing how the 
business of the Province was done by the Council half a 
century ago : 

" COUNCIL CHAMBER, 21st March, 1831. 

The Honorable Mr. Chief Justice Saunders, President. 
Mr. Justice Bliss, Mr. Shore, 

Mr. Justice Botsford, Mr. Justice Chipman, 

Mr. Peters, Mr. Robinson, 

Mr. Hurd. 

" Read a second time, the bill to authorize the minis- 
ters of congregations dissenting from the Church of 
England to solemnize marriage in the Province. 

" On motion resolved, That the further consideration 
of this bill be put off for three months." 

This was the kind of satisfaction the House of Assem- 
bly received when they wished to discover why this 
salutary measure, and others of a similar character, were 
rejected. Eight old men, sitting in a Council with closed 
doors, were able to defeat the best intentions of the popu- 
lar branch of the Legislature, and to block the wheels of 
progress. Their action in this case was the more absurd 
because by an act passed on the 8th of March, 1830, at 
the request of the British Government, the Imperial Act 
10, George IV., chapter VII, entitled, " An act for the 
relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects," was 
made applicable to the Province of New Brunswick, and 
all disabilities of every kind removed from persons of 


that faith. The House of Assembly concluded that 
nothing would serve to bring about the reform asked for 
but to petition the King, and accordingly in 1831, a 
petition was prepared in which the grievance with regard 
to dissenting Protestant clergymen was duly set forth, 
and it was stated that for several years in succession the 
House of Assembly had passed a bill to extend the 
privilege of celebrating marriage to dissenting clergymen, 
but that for reasons unknown to the House such bills had 
not been concurred in by the other branch of the Legis- 
lature. The petitioners, who described themselves as 
"Your Majesty's Faithful Commons," asked that the King 
" would be pleased graciously to give instructions to the 
administrator of the Government to recommend the 
Legislature to pass such bill as he may deem proper to 
obtain Your Majesty's royal sanction for the purpose of 
extending the privilege of celebrating and solemnizing 
marriages, to the regularly ordained and settled clergy of 
dissenting congregations in Your Majesty's Province of 
Xew Brunswick." At the next meeting of the Legisla- 
ture, in 18o2, the various dissenting religious bodies 
showed great activity in presenting petitions in favor of 
the passing of the dissenters' marriage bill. These 
petitions came from every part of the Province, and very 
largely from the ministers and adherents of the Wesleyan 
Methodist Society. The bill was passed by the House 
on the 10th of February, apparently without any opposi- 
tion, and went to the Council, where it passed with a 
suspending clause, being reserved for His Majesty's 


approval. It was supposed that this bill would settle the 
dissenters' marriage question, and the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor, Sir Archibald Campbell, seems to have shared in 
this belief, for in proroguing the Legislature he said : 

" I am particularly gratified to find that the new 
marriage act, which has just passed into a law, is 
calculated to give a high degree of satisfaction to a large 
portion of His Majesty's loyal subjects in this colony." 

Nothing more was heard of the act, however, until the 
session of 1834, when a despatch was received from His 
Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated the 
1st of January of that year, in which it was announced 
that His Majesty had been advised to withhold his 
assent from the bill, on the ground that the act was 
confined in its operation to four denominations of 
Christians, the Wesleyan Methodists, the Baptists, Pres- 
byterian seceeders from the Kirk of Scotland, and Inde- 
pendents, and also because before obtaining a license 
from the Governor, the minister who desired to solemnize 
such marriages must produce a certificate or letters of 
ordination, which must be derived from some British 
convention, synod, conference or association. In other 
words, the act was disallowed because it was not liberal 
enough, and thus two years of time were lost, no doubt in 
consequence of the act having originally been draw r n in 
a restricted form to enable it to pass the Council. Thus 
the malign influence of that antiquated and illiberal body 
was the means of postponing the operation of the 
dissenters' marriage act until the year 1834, when on the 


22nd of March, a bill which was in the terms suggested 
by the Colonial Secretary, was passed, and the dissenters' 
marriage question settled forever on an equitable basis. 

The old restrictive system which hindered the trade of 
New Brunswick for the first forty years of its existence 
has already been referred to. Grievances which rose from 
that source were perhaps less felt by the people of this 
Province than some others, because the policy which 
created that system was a part of the fashion of the 
times, and no better arrangement was then understood. 
The first blow that was dealt to this policy came in 1822, 
when the acts of the Imperial Parliament 3rd, Geo. IV., 
chapters 44 and 45 were passed. Under these acts the 
importation of provisions, lumber, cattle, tobacco and 
other articles from any foreign country in North and 
South America and the West Indies, into ports of British 
North America and the British West Indies, was allowed 
under a fixed scale of duty, and a free export was allowed 
to goods going from all our ports to these countries. The 
importation of the productions of foreign countries in 
Europe into the ports of British North America was also 
permitted, and a schedule of duties annexed. Under these 
acts it was arranged that the duties on both imports and 
exports were to be collected by the Imperial officers of 
customs, and the net revenue thus obtained was to be 
placed at the disposal of the Colonial Treasuries. By 
these acts .duties were placed on wines, varying from 7 to 
10 guineas a tun, in addition to 7| per cent, ad valorem. 
This arrangement was a decided gain to New Brunswick, 


because, for the first time, it placed the revenue collected 
by the Imperial officers under the control of the Legisla- 
ture. The first intimation that we have of the change 
that had taken place in the status of these duties, was a 
message from the Lieutenant Governor to the House of 
Assembly, dated 18th of February, 1823, in which he 
informed the House that, owing to a representation made 
by the Collector of His Majesty's Customs at St. John, 
he had, with the advice of His Majesty's Council, 
appointed a number of persons to assist in collecting the 
duties lately given to the Province by the act of the 
Imperial Parliament. On the 20th of February of the 
same year, there appeared in the Provincial Treasurer's 
accounts, an acknowledgment of the receipt of 422 3s. 
from Henry Wright, the Collector of Customs, for duties 
collected by him under the acts of Parliament. During 
the same session returns were laid before the House of 
the accounts of the Collector and Controller of His 
Majesty's Customs in this Province, of the duties received 
both at St. John and St. Andrews, and thus a new era in 
the history of our commerce was commenced. 

The acts of the Imperial Parliament 6th, Geo. IV., 
chapters 73 and 114,- went still farther in the way of 
removing restrictions from Colonial trade. These acts 
provided that the duties imposed under them should be 
paid by the Collector of Customs into the hands of the 
Treasurer or Keceiver General of the colony, to be 
applied to such uses as were directed by the Local 
Legislature of such colony, exception being made in 


regard to produce of duties payable to His Majesty, 
under any act passed prior to the 18th year of his late 
Majesty, George III. This exception is important for 
the purpose of illustrating the pernicious and absurd 
system under which duties had been collected. Even so 
late as the year 1833, Messrs. Simonds and Chandler, our 
delegates to the Imperial Government, were complaining 
that duties were collected at the several Custom Houses in 
New Brunswick upon wine, molasses, coffee and pimento, 
under the provisions of the acts of Parliament 6th,Geo. II. } 
chapter 13 ; 4th, Geo. III., chapter 15, and 6th, Geo. III., 
chapter 52, amounting to upwards of 1000 sterling 
annually, which duties were not accounted for to the 
Legislature, and that it -was not known to the House of 
Assembly by whom and to what purpose these duties were 
applied. The reply to this on the part of the Imperial 
Government was, that in pursuance of the directions con- 
tained in the statutes themselves, the duties levied under 
them were remitted to the exchequer in England, in aid 
of the expenses incurred for the defence of the British 
Colonies in North America. Thus ten years after the 
British Government had undertaken to remit the duties 
collected in the colonies to the exchequers of the colonies 
in which the money was collected, there still remained a 
considerable revenue, collected under old and obscure acts 
of Parliament, which was held back, and the destination 
of which was not known, until disclosed in the manner 
stated to the delegates sent to England to obtain the 
redress of New Brunswick cn-ievances. 


In the meantime, however, the money collected for 
duties under the acts 3rd, Geo. IV., and 6, Geo. IV., began 
to flow into the exchequer, but it was found that the 
amount thus received was much smaller than the Legisla- 
ture had a right to expect, in consequence of the large 
reductions that were made by the Imperial collectors for 
their own salaries and expenses. The Customs officials 
of that day were, for the most part, men whose only 
concern was to fill their own pockets. They were all 
natives of the British Islands and had been appointed, not 
because of their merit, but through influence, and a few 
of them for reasons not fit to be mentioned. Some of 
them, when in their cups, were accustomed to boast that 
they had royal blood in their veins, and their boasts 
derived some probability from a family resemblance, 
which at least was striking, and from the notoriously 
immoral conduct of George IV., both as a prince and a 
king. Such men were not likely to aid the Legislature 
of New Brunswick in its efforts to keep down the expense 
of the Customs system. In February, 1827, Mr. 
Simonds, from the committee appointed to take into 
consideration all matters affecting the commercial 
interests of the Province, submitted a report, in which 
it was shown that, by an abstract of duties received by 
the several collectors of customs in the Province, it 
appeared that 18,278 2s. 3|d. sterling had been collected 
between the 5th of January, 1826, and the 5th of Janu- 
ary, 1827, under the act 6th, Geo. IV., chapter 114, 
which was equal in the currency of the Province to the 


sum of 20,309 11s. 5d., but that of the above sum only 
11.613 13s. 8d. had been paid into the hands of the 
Provincial Treasurer and his deputies, leaving still in the 
hands of the collectors of customs, unaccounted for, the 
sum of 8,695 17s. 8|d. The report recommended that 
the House take immediate steps to ascertain by what 
authority the collectors in this Province have been 
induced to retain so large a proportion to the whole 
amount of duties collected by them. This report was 
accepted and ordered to lie on the table. 

This subject had already been one of the matters dealt 
with by the committee of correspondence in a letter to the 
Province agent in England, and it was a matter in regard 
to which our people felt keenly. At that time the 
revenue of the Province was small, and it seemed absurd 
that the Customs officials should be able to take, in 
salaries, about one half the amount of the revenue they 
collected. A few days later a message was received from 
the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Howard Douglas, laying 
before the House a copy of a despatch from Earl Bath- 
urst, dated the 20th of April, 1826, enclosing a copy of a 
minute of the Lord Commissioners of the Treasury, on the 
subject of the establishment of the Customs in North 
America and the West Indies, and the payment of the 
expenses of this service out of the produce of the 
duties of customs, which they were appointed to collect. 

On the 2nd of March, 1827, a series of resolutions were 
passed in regard to this message, and others on the same 
subject, ending with a humble address to the Lieutenant 


Governor, praying that His Excellency would lay the 
resolutions in question before His Majesty. Sir Howard 
Douglas, on receiving these resolutions, intimated to the 
House of Assembly that the proper method of approach- 
ing His Majesty on this subject was by way of address, 
and the House complying with this suggestion, prepared 
an address, which was adopted on the 6th of March of 
the same year. This address contains, in a brief form, a 
statement of the grievances which the House considered 
the Province was suffering in consequence of the existing 
arrangements with regard to the disposition of the monies 
derived from the customs duties. In it the members 
thanked His Majesty for the relief of the coasting trade, 
especially in this Province, by the abolition of the Custom 
House fees, and said that they regard it as an additional 
proof of that fostering care which His Majesty and 

Parliament have so often evinced for the welfare of this 


part of his extended dominions. They say that they 
cannot for a moment believe that it was ever intended to 
lessen those benefits by taking from the Colonial 
Legislature the right of appropriating the whole of the 
duties levied upon the people of the Province, They 
add that it was not without feelings of extreme regret 
that the House heard, just before the close of the last 
session, that the Custom House officers had received 
instructions from the Commissioner of Customs to retain 
for their salaries a large portion of the duties collected by 
them. As no official communication had been received 
by His Majesty's Government in the Province relating 


to these instructions, the House considered this order 
which so materially affected their dearest interests, and 
which appeared to them at variance with the acts of 
Parliament, to have been intended as a temporary 
arrangement, to continue in operation only until the 
subject had been submitted to the House, in which they 
humbly conceived the appropriation of the Provincial 
revenue for the payment of these salaries or for any 
other purpose should originate. The address then goes 
on to say that as the services of the Custom House 
officers are principally required for carrying into effect 
the laws of trade and navigation, it is the opinion of the 
House that the more proper mode of paying for these 
services would be by charges on shipping. The address 
recites the fact already stated, that of the 20,000 
collected under acts of Parliament for the previous year 
by the officers of customs, but little more than half had 
gone into the Provincial Treasury, the balance having 
been retained by the officers for their salaries. The 
enormous disproportion of this scale of remuneration, as 
compared to that of the Provincial officers, was shown by 
the statement in the address that the Provincial revenue 
of 30,000 was collected at an expense of about 2,000' 
and by a further statement that these Imperial duties, 
which cost so much to collect, could have been collected 
by the Provincial officers of revenue with little or no 
additional charge. The address closed by expressing the 
hope that His Majesty would grant the desired relief by 
making such reductions as were practical in the customs 


establishment, and by causing the whole of the revenue, 
which might hereafter be collected in the Colony, under 
the provisions of any act of the Imperial Parliament, to 
be placed at the disposal of the Provincial Assembly. 

In 1828 this subject was again before the Legislature, 
and the chairman of the Committee of Privileges reported, 
as a result of an inspection of the returns of the customs 
of St. John and St. Andrews, that the whole of the duties 
collected at the port of St. John under the acts of the 
Imperial Parliament, had amounted during the year to 
15,231 16s. 10d., from which sum the officers of 
customs had retained 4,135 10s. 9fd., leaving 11,096 
7s. Jd. as the net amount of duties. The whole amount 
collected in customs duties at St. Andrews in 1827 was 
6,007 19s. 2d., of which sum 2,382 was retained for 
salaries. These sums, it must be remembered, are all in 
sterling money. It was found by the same report that 
the salary of the collector at St. John was 1,500 sterling, 
or considerably more than twice as much as the salary of 
the present collector of the port of St. John, the revenue 
of which- now approaches $1,000,000 a year. The con- 
troller of the port then received 700 sterling, or more 
than double the salary of the present surveyor of the 
port of St. John, who is the second officer in the service. 
The other salaries were in the same proportion ; two 
surveyors and searchers receiving 400 sterling each, the 
warehouse keeper 300 sterling, and the indoor officers 
from 270 to 150. The coUector at St. Andrews 
received 800 sterling, the controller 400, and the 


searcher 300. These salaries were justly considered to 
be excessive, and would be far too much even at the 
present day, when the business has so greatly increased. 
No answer was received during the session of 1828 from 
the British Government to the address which had been 
forwarded the previous year, but in 1829 a reply came. 
This reply, which was a lengthy document, can only be 
regarded as a piece of special pleading. After reciting 
the language of the acts, the reply states that it is the 
opinion of the law officers of the Crown that the salaries 
of the customs officers in the case of the duties raised, 
under 6th, Geo. IV., chapter 114, as in that of those 
received under former acts, are legally payable out of the 
gross produce, and that the balance alone, after such pay- 
ment, is to be paid over to the Colonial officers. The reply 
also pointed out that fees to a large amount, heretofore 
paid to the Naval officers in the several Colonies had 
been abolished, and that the compensation to the officers, 
in lieu of fees, was then paid out of the revenue of Great 
Britain. It stated also, that His Majesty's Government 
had consented that the Crown revenues would continue 
to be charged with the incidental expenses of the collec- 
tion of the customs, and with the compensation which 
has been found necessary to assign to the customs 
officers, whose salaries have been reduced ; and if there 
should be any Colony in which the salaries of the officers 
exceeded the amount of fees formerly levied, it was not 
intended that the excess should be borne by the Colony. 
With these qualifications, however, the reply stated 


that it appeared to His Majesty's Government as 
not unreasonable, that the Colonies should either 
acquiesce in the 1 deduction, from the duties received 
in the Colony, of the adequate salaries now fixed 
for the officers, or should themselves make a per- 
manent provision for the officers to that amount. The 
reply states that by the adoption of either alternative, 
the additional expense thrown upon the Mother Country 
will not be extravagant, and the Customs officers enjoying 
salaries which are considered moderate, will still be placed 
in that state of independence which is essential to the due 
discharge of their duty. 

This reply was accompanied by a detailed statement of 
the charge for salaries heretofore defrayed by fees levied 
in this Province, and that now proposed to be borne out 
of the duties collected in the Colonies, and also the 
salaries, compensations and expenses proposed to be borne 
by the Crown, or out of the revenue of the United 
Kingdom, under the new arrangement which was to take 
effect from the 5th of January, 1829. It appeared from 
this statement that prior to the year 1826, 9,133 7s. Id. 
sterling, was paid in fees, and 509 paid by the Crown 
in the shape of salaries. In 1826, the same amount as 
that formerly paid in fees, was paid by the Colony, and 
1,086 3Jd. was paid by the Crownf^in the shape of 
salaries and incidental charges. It was now proposed 
that the sum of 6,397 should be paid for salaries out of 
the Colonial duties, and the sum of 1,636 3s. 3d. paid 
by the Crown for salaries and incidental charges. In a 


financial point of view this was a more favorable arrange- 
ment for the Province than the one that had previously 
existed, saving as it did almost 3,000 of the Customs 
revenues, which were to go into the Provincial exchequer ; 
but as the House of Assembly of New Brunswick was 
contending for the principle that they alone had the right 
to dispose of the revenues which were collected in the 
Province, it was unsatisfactory. Therefore it was 
resolved unanimously by the House, that this settlement 
of the matter proposed by the British Government could 
not be accepted. The House said that in unanimously 
coming to this determination they did so on the principle 
that the House of Assembly are the sole constitutional 
judges of the proper compensation to be afforded public 
officers when their salaries are to arise from taxation 
within the Province, and that although the House are 
well satisfied of the necessity of making proper provision 
for officers of the Customs, and will be at all times ready 
to appropriate a reasonable sum for that purpose, when 
the revenues are left to the disposal of the Legislature, 
they felt bound to say that the scale proposed was far 
beyond what the circumstances of the country would 
admit, and out of all proportion to the allowances made 
for similar services by the General Assembly. 

This manly resolution was a crude expression of the 
sentiments of a vast majority of the people of New- 
Brunswick, although it must not be forgotten that the 
Council took no part in these remonstrances against 
excessive salaries, and declined to stand up for constitu- 


tional usage, thus showing themselves to be wholly 
subservient to the wishes of the officials as they had been 
in every instance where the interests of the people and 
those of the official classes came in conflict. 

No progress seems to have been made in respect to the 
matter of Customs salaries during the year 1830, but it 
appears by the returns that for the year ending 5th of 
January, 1830, the Customs duties collected in the 
Province amounted to 16,616 18s. lid. sterling, from 
which was deducted for salaries 7,073 6s., leaving a 
balance of 9,543 12s. lid. Thus it appears that in 
that year the salaries of the Customs officials amounted 
to about 40 per cent, of the whole sum collected by 
them, a scale of remuneration which would seem very 
absurd at the present day. 

In March, 1831, a series of resolutions was moved 
by Mr. Partelow in reference to the King's casual revenue 
and to Customs salaries. These resolutions, which need 
not be recited, announced the desire of the Legislature to 
provide for the whole civil list, including the Customs 
establishment, and asked for returns showing the salaries 
which had been annually received by the several Custom 
house establishments in the Province, for the payment 
of their officers and clerk?, since the Imperial acts for the 
abolition of fees went into operation. These resolutions 
were carried and ordered to be laid before the President. 
At a later day, during the same session, an address was 
adopted by the House upon the subject of the Custom 
House establishment in this Province, which was ordered 


to be sent to the Lieutenant Governor, so that it might 
be forwarded to His Majesty. This address recited the 
dissatisfaction that so uniformly prevailed at the circum- 
stance of such large sums being annually withheld by 
the officers of Customs without the consent of the 
Legislature. It stated that the Provincial officers, such 
as the Provincial Treasurer, whose duties were far more 
arduous, received much smaller salaries than those given 
to the Customs officials. The principal object of the 
address, however, was to place before His Majesty a 
scale of salaries which the House deemed sufficient for 
the service, and to ask that this scale be adopted. The 
Assembly offered to make a permanent annual grant to 
His Majesty of 4,250 sterling, for the payment of the 
Customs officers, either in gross or in such other way as 
His Majesty might direct. This scale of salaries gave 
the Collector of the port of St. John 700 sterling a year, 
which was a larger salary than this official now enjoys ; 
the Controller was to receive 400 sterling, a larger salary 
than the surveyor of the port now has. The whole cost 
of the St. John Customs establishment was to be brought 
down to 1,930. The Miramichi Custom House was to 
be maintained for 450 ; that of St. Andrews for 990, 
the Collector there receiving a salary of 400, while the 
other salaries were reduced in the same proportion, so 
that the total sum for salaries and incidentals was brought 
down to 4,250 sterling, equal to 4,903 16s. lOd. 
currency, or about $20,000 of the money of the present 


This proposal brought a favorable reply, which was 
addressed from Downing street, on the 5th January, 1832, 
by Lord Howick, who afterwards, as Earl Gray, was 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, and had a great deal 
to do with the negotiations between New Brunswick and 
the Mother Country in the matter of building a line of 
railway from Halifax to Quebec. 

It was fortunate for the people of New Brunswick that 
a Liberal Government had come into power in England 
prior to this time, and that the old vested interests which 
were thought to be superior to the rights of the people, 
were beginning to be looked upon with less favor than 
had been the case formerly. Lord Howick, in his 
despatch, stated that the Lord Commissioners of His 
Majesty's Treasury were willing at once to accede to the 
proposal of the Legislative Assembly of New r Brunswick 
to make a permanent grant to His Majesty of 4,250 
sterling per annum to the Custom House establishment 
in New Brunswick. Their Lordships were also of the 
opinion that the present scale of salaries ought to be 
reduced, but they were not yet possessed of all the infor- 
mation which they required to enable them to determine 
on the amount of reduction, either of the number or 
salaries of the officers, which could be effected without 
impairing the efficiency of the department. They 
promised, however, that at an early period they would 
revise the Customs establishments in all the ports of the 
North American Colonies, with a view to fix them on a 
reasonable and moderate scale. This was a very satis- 


factory despatch, and although the arrangement was not 
carried out immediately, yet it became operative in due 
course, in the latter part of the year 1835. An act was 
passed in March of that year, by the Legislature of New 
Brunswick which declared that " it is one of the most 
inherent and unquestionable rights of the General 
Assembly of this Province to dispose of the whole amount 
of all duties, taxes and supplies collected within the 
same." The act then went on to declare that His 
Majesty's faithful and loyal subjects of the Assembly of 
New Brunswick have freely and voluntarily resolved to 
give a grant to the King's most excellent Majesty, his 
heirs and successors, towards providing for the Custom 
House establishment in this Province ; that the principal 
officers of the Customs of this Province are authorized to 
retain the annual sum of 4,250 sterling, out of the 
monies arising from the duties which they may collect 
under the acts of the Imperial Parliament, the surplus 
to be paid over to the Provincial Treasurer quarterly. 
Thus was vindicated the principle for which our House of 
Assembly had so steadily contended, and the right of 
that body to dispose of the entire revenues collected in 
the Province in whatever manner they saw fit, was freely 
admitted by the special confirmation and ratification of 
the act by order of the King in Council, dated 30th of 
September, 1835. 

It is a singular fact that while the House of Assembly 
contended so strongly for its right to appropriate all the 
monies collected by the Imperial Custom House officers 


in this Province, it seems to have ignored or forgotten 
the still more important question of the right of taxation 
which was involved in this matter. The contest between 
the Mother Country and the thirteen Colonies was the 
result of an attempt on the part of the British Govern- 
ment to impose Customs duties on the Colonists, and the 
contention of the Colonists, which they successfully 
maintained as the result of a long and bloody war, was 
that there should be no taxation without representation. 
This principle was so far admitted by the British 
Government, that in 1778 an act was passed declaring 
that from and after its passing "the King and Parliament 
of Great Britain will not impose any duty or tax assess- 
ment whatever, payable in any of His Majesty's Colonies, 
excepting only such duties as it may be expedient to 
impose for the regulation of commerce." In spite of this 
very plain provision it has already been seen that the Im- 
perial Customs establishment of New Brunswick, and the 
other North American Colonies of Great Britain, continued 
to collect duties, which, whether they were necessary for 
the regulation of commerce, or merely for the purpose of 
raising a revenue, were entirely in opposition to the 
principle that there should be no taxation without 

The indifference of the House of Assembly of New 
Brunswick in regard to this particular phase of the 
question must be ascribed to defects in the political 
education of the people, who had been so much accus- 
tomed to regard the royal prerogative as sacred and the 


Imperial Parliament as supreme, that they failed to 
recognize the fact that the rights of the people of New 
Brunswick were being seriously interfered with by the 
Imperial legislation which provided for the maintenance 
of Customs establishments. 

There were indeed many grave abuses and difficulties 
in connection with the collection of two sets of duties by 
two sets of officers on the same goods imported into this 
Province. In general such a condition of things was 
only made tolerable by the liberal manner in which the 
tariff of duties was interpreted by the officials, yet there 
were sometimes collisions between the Provincial and 
Imperial officers which led to difficulties. An instance 
of this was presented to the notice of the British Gov- 
ernment in 1833 by Messrs. Chandler andSimonds, when 
they went to England as a deputation on the subject of 
the grievances of the Province. They stated that, 
although the revenue laws of the Province and the 
Imperial acts specified the manner in which the proceeds- 
of seizures made by the officers of Customs and 
Provincial officers should be disposed of, collisions had 
taken place between these officials, and instances had 
occurred of seizures by the officers of His Majesty's 
Customs of articles which had been previously seized by 
the Provincial revenue officers, and condemned and sold 
by them. The delegates pointed out that unless a remedy 
was applied to proceedings of this nature, the Provincial 
revenue laws for the prevention of smuggling, would, so 
far as they applied to articles which were liable to 


Parliamentary duties, become entirely nugatory. This 
matter was brought to the notice of the proper officers by 
the British Government, and from that time the com- 
plaints on the subject became less frequent. 

It was not, however, until the year 1848 that the 
whole complicated system of collecting double duties by 
two sets of officers was swept away. The history of the 
legislation which brought this about and which resulted 
in England becoming a free trade country, does not 
properly belong to the narrative which I have in hand. 
The fall of the Imperial Customs system in the Colonies 
was due, not so much to any attacks that were made 
upon it from without, as to its own inherent weakness 
and inefficiency. The year 1846 was a memorable epoch 
in the commercial history of the United Kingdom, and 
from that time the old order of things began to pass away. 
The Imperial Customs establishments in the Colonies 
were abolished by legislation, which was passed in 1846, 
'and the officers who had been charged with the duty of 
collecting the Parliamentary revenue were either pensioned 
or removed to other positions. The collector of the port 
of St. John, Mr. H. Bowyer Smith, was at this time 
placed on a retiring allowance, and the only Imperial 
officers of that establishment retained here were the 
Controller of Customs and Navigation Laws and a few 
other officials whose duty it was to regulate the shipping 
interests, which was still regarded as an Imperial concern. 
A few years later even this feature of the old Customs 
system was abolished, and the interests of the 


shipping were entrusted to Provincial officers, who from 
that time to the present, have done their duty in a 
manner not less efficient than their predecessors. 

Mention has already been made of the singular 
constitution of the Council of this Province, which com- 
bined both executive and Legislative functions. The 
Council was a body wholly irresponsible, but quite 
powerful enough, with the assistance of the Lieutenant 
Governor, to defeat the wishes of the popular branch of 
the Legislature, whenever it chose to stand in the way of 
progressive Legislation. The arbitrary conduct of this 
body had always been a subject of complaint, both by the 
people at large and the members of the House of 
Assembly, because, while the Council was constituted as 
it was, it was felt that legislation was wholly at the 
mercy of an irresponsible body, which had little or no 
sympathy with the wishes of the people. 

A very important change was made in 1833 with 
respect to the Council, which first came to the knowl- 
edge of the House by a message dated llth of 
February of that year. The Lieutenant Governor 
informed the House of Assembly that His Majesty had 
been pleased by his royal commission to appoint two 
separate and distinct Councils in the Province, to be 
respectively called the Legislative Council and the 
Executive Council, and had vested in the Legislative 
Council all the powers heretofore given to the Council of 
the Province as far as regarded the enacting of laws, and 
in the Executive Council all the other powers heretofore 


exercised -by the Council originally appointed. It is not 
known by what influence this important change was 
brought about, but it may be inferred that it came as a 
result of representations made by the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor himself, at the instance of one or two of his most 
trusted advisers. It was stated in a communication to 
the British Government by Messrs. Simonds and Chand- 
ler, in June, 1833, that the change had been advised, 
determined upon and carried into effect without the 
knowledge, advice or consent of the late Council, or 
the concurrence of the Legislature, and it was objected to 
on that ground. The delegates maintained that the 
established constitution of the Colony should not have 
been changed or modified by His Majesty's Government 
without the concurrence of the Legislature itself. It is 
a singular proof of the political infancy of our Provincial 
members of Assembly at that period that a change so 
obviously necessary in the interests of good Government 
should have been considered improper, no matter in what 
manner it may have been brought about. These 
members ought to have understood very clearly that 
while the Council continued to exercise both Legislative 
and Executive functions, no member of the House of 
Assembly could ever become a member of the Executive 
Council or take any active part in the administration of 
the affairs of the Government. The House of Assembly, 
prior to that time, had been merely a body, free from 
executive responsibility, charged with the duty of 
guarding the public purse, and therefore coming into 


constant collision with the Governor and his advisers, in 
consequence of their refusal to grant money, which the 
Governor deemed necessary for the maintenance of the 
public services of the Province. 

On the 23rd of February, 1833, the Lieutenant 
Governor sent to the House of Assembly the despatch 
relative to the constitution of the Legislative and 
Executive Councils. In this document it was declared 
that the Executive Council should consist of five members, 
and that three of such members should constitute 
a quorum, for the transaction of business. The five 
members appointed Executive Councillors at this time 
were Thomas Baillie, the Surveyor General, William F. 
Odell, the Provincial Secretary, Frederick P. Eobinson, 
George Frederick Street, Advocate General, and John 
Simcoe Saunders. Messrs. Baillie and Eobinson had 
been members of the old Council, but the other members 
of the Executive named w r ere new men. The document 
by which these gentlemen were appointed members of 
the Executive Council declared that in the absence of the 
Lieutenant Governor or of the officer administering the 
Government for the time being, the member of the 
Council whose name should be first on the list should 
preside in said Council. It was also, declared that the 
members of the Executive Council, as well as of the 
Legislative Council, should hold their office during His 
Majesty's pleasure. The new Legislative Council, as 
constituted on the llth of February, 1833, consisted of 
ten members, three of whom, Messrs. Baillie, Kobinson 


and Saimders, were members of the Executive Council, 
Chief Justice Saunders, who had been originally appointed 
a member of the Council in 1793, being President. 
Several members of the old Council were dropped from 
the list, among them being Judges Bliss, Botsford and 
Chipman, and the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia, who had 
attended but once as a member of the Council seven 
years before. It is worthy of mention in this connection 
that, from the time of the first establishment of the 
Council in 1784 up to the period with which we are now 
dealing, the public had been wholly without information 
in regard to the proceedings of that body. Its meetings 
were held with closed doors ; no member even of the popu- 
lar branch of the Legislature was allowed to be present 
at its deliberations, and the only information in regard 
to its doings that reached the outside world was when a 
Committee of the House was appointed to search the 
journals of the Council for the purpose of discovering 
what had become of some bill, which after being passed 
by the House of Assembly as a result of much delibera- 
tion and long debate, had disappeared in the Council, to 
be heard of no more. 

In 1831, the sum of 500 was granted by the Legisla- 
ture for the purpose of defraying the expenses, of 
arranging, compiling and printing the journals of the 
Legislative Council, from the commencement of its 
existence to the session of 1830. In 1832 this was 
supplemented by a further grant of 210 15s. for the 
payment of the balance due for arranging, compiling and 


printing the journals of the Legislative Council. The 
result of this grant was the publication of two volumes 
containing all the proceedings of the Legislative Council 
from the beginning, and then the public for the first time 
learned the manner in which the business of that body 
had been conducted, and the amount of regard which was 
paid to their wishes, as expressed by the action of their 
representatives in the House of Assembly. 




The abuses connected with the Crown Land department 
naturally attracted a larger amount of attention than any 
others, in the Legislature of the Province. It has already 
been explained that the revenues derived from the Crown 
lands of the Province were not under the control of the 
Legislature, and were expended without regard to its 
wishes. This was a very practical grievance, and our 
ancestors, who were little given to theorizing in regard 
to systems of Government, made the Crown Land office 
the main object of attack for many years. 

The question of the control and management of the 
Crown lands was one that involved many features, so 
that to deal with them fully would require a larger space 
than is necessary to give to the matter in this volume. 
One grievance, which was felt to be an important one, 
was that in connection with the collection of quit rents. 
The grants of land originally given to the first settlers of 
this Province provided for the payment of a certain 
annual sum in the shape of quit rents. It appears that 
when these grants were made the grantees had no idea 


that the provision for quit rents would ever be enforced, 
looking upon it merely as a nominal acknowledgment of 
the sovereignty of the Crown. But in the year 1830 an 
attempt was made to collect these rents, and it brought 
on a very unpleasant state of affairs between the Lieuten- 
ant Governor on the one side and the House of Assembly, 
representing the Province, on the other. The quit rent 
grievance formed the subject of numerous addresses to 
His Majesty. It was one of the matters entrusted to 
Messrs. Chandler and Siinonds, who were sent as a deputa- 
tion to England on the subject of grievances in 1833. 
The collection of quit rents had at that time been 
suspended, but the British Government informed the 
delegates that unless the Assembly should be disposed to 
enter into some arrangement for a permanent civil list, 
on the relinquishment by the Crown of quit rents 
throughout the Province, there would be no alternative 
but to resume their collection. Finally a bill was passed 
in 1835, in which the sum of 1,200 currency was 
granted to His Majesty, in commutation and full discharge 
of all quit rents and arrears of quit rents then due or to 
become due, reserved in any grants or letters patent from 
the Crown, of lands within the Province of New Bruns- 
wick. This annual sum of 1,200 currency was to be 
applied by His Majesty towards making and improving 
roads and bridges within the Province. This was a 
solution of the difficulty which gave the Province 
itself the benefit of the quit rents, and which might have 
been reached earlier without the amount of negotia- 


tion and correspondence which was expended upon it. 

Under the old system by which the Crown lands were 
regulated, large areas of the Province of New Brunswick 
were held as reserved lands for the avowed purpose of 
supplying masts for His Majesty's navy. It was always 
felt that the existence of these large reserves was a great 
hindrance to settlement, because land was thus locked 
up which was required for actual settlers, and which 
might have very well been opened without at all inter- 
fering with the naval establishment. 

In 1819 a Committee of the House of Assembly was 
appointed for the purpose of inquiring into the subject of 
reserved lands, in Charlotte and Northumberland Coun- 
ties. The report of this committee showed that consider- 
able areas of these lands consisted of hardwood land, 
suitable for settlement, and not in any sense valuable for 
the purpose of growing masts for His Majesty's navy. 
The Council was requested to join in an address to His 
Majesty, asking to have these lands opened up to settle- 
ment, but it declined to do so. As the Council would 
take no part in this movement, the House of Assembly 
had to proceed on its own responsibility, and during 
the session of 1820, an address was prepared to be 
forwarded to His Eoyal Highness, the Prince Eegent, on 
the subject of these reserved lands. During the session 
of 1821 a letter was received from Earl Bathurst, 
acknowledging the receipt of the address from the House 
of Assembly, and stating that the matter had been 
referred to the Surveyor General of Woods and Forests 


in North America, for the purpose of ascertaining from 
him whether the lands in question abounded with pine 
.so as to make their reservation important in the public 
interest. The Surveyor General of Woods and For- 
ests in America was ex-Governor Sir John Wentworth, 
who, at the time Earl Bathurst wrote the communication 
in question, was dead, although the news of his death had 
not then reached England. The position of Surveyor 
General of Woods and Forests, which he held for many 
years, was a sort of sinecure office and was not filled after 
his death. As Sir John Wentworth was dead, and 
therefore unable to give his opinion as to the reserved 
lands, in March, 1821, a committee was appointed to 
wait upon the Lieutenant Governor in regard to their 
reservation, asking him whether any person had been 
appointed Surveyor of Woods and Forests in North Am- 
erica, and, if any, what steps had been taken to convey to 
His Majesty's ministers the information relative to the 
reserves in Charlotte, referred to in Lord Bathurst's letter. 
In February, 1822, a communication was received from 
Lord Bathurst, stating that His Majesty had caused 
inquiries to be made as to the state of the timber on the 
several reserves in Charlotte County, and as it appeared \S 
that they contained a considerable quantity of timber 
most valuable for naval purposes, His Majesty did not 
feel that he could accede to the wishes of the Assembly, \ 
or abandon the reserves for the purpose of allotting them 
to settlers. This disposed of the subject for the time 
being, but it was by no means lost sight of in the subse- 


quent agitation in regard to other branches of the" Crown 
land service. 

During the session of 1819, another matter was 
brought to the attention of the House, which formed the 
subject of a long and acrimonious dispute with the home 
Government. On motion of Mr. Colin Campbell, one of 
the members for Charlotte County, it was resolved that 
an humble address be presented to the Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor, stating that the House of Assembly had learned 
with surprise and regret of the bonds which were taken 
in the office of the Deputy Surveyor of Woods for one 
shilling a ton on licenses to cut and ship pine timber in this 
Province. The House of Assembly expressed the 
opinion that this measure, if persisted in, must prove 
ruinous to the timber trade of the Province. The resolu- 
tions also requested that His Excellency should inform 
the House, if a recent instruction had been received from 
His Majesty's ministers, requiring such bonds to be 
taken, and to what purpose the large sums arising there- 
from were to be appropriated. 

Lieutenant Governor Smyth, in reply, stated that in 
consequence of representations made to the Government 
in England of the great and unwarrantable destruction 
committed in His Majesty's woods in this Province, 
positive orders were issued by the Lord Commissioners of 
the Treasury forbidding any license to be granted for 
cutting timber, except under the sanction of the Lieuten- 
ant Governor, first obtained. He stated that these 
orders had been communicated to the Council, who, after 


deliberate consideration, arranged and recommended a 
system which, in their opinion, might effectually prevent 
the recurrence of similar mischiefs in future. The 
shilling a ton, he said, formed a part of that system which 
had been transmitted for the consideration of His Majesty, 
and bonds had been taken to secure the payment of that 
sum in case it should eventually be demanded. The 
money which might arise from the permission to cut 
timber, as well as all other sums of money which might 
accrue to His Majesty from the sale, or other disposition 
of property belonging to the Crown in this Province, was 
to be appropriated to such uses as His Majesty might be 
pleased to direct. 

This reply involved a declaration to the members, that 
the King could do what he pleased with the Crown lands 
of New Brunswick, and that such a rate of taxation might 
be imposed upon those who desired to cut timber in this 
Province as would effectually put an end to the trade. 
It also involved the proposition that the money arising 
from the sale or rents of the Crown land in New Bruns- 
wick belonged to the King alone, and might be disposed 
of by hirn in any manner he saw fit, without any regard 
whatever to the wishes of the Legislature. The House 
of Assembly was not disposed to submit meekly to this 
rebuff, and, a few days later, it was resolved that the 
system which required bonds to be taken for the payment 
of one shilling a ton on all pine timber manufactured in 
the Province, was a measure highly injurious to its trade, 
and in the opinion of the House, not contemplated by the 


instructions of His Majesty's ministers, communicated to 
the House in the message of the Lieutenant Governor. 
The House of Assembly also expressed the opinion that 
the instructions referred to were only intended to prevent 
the destruction of pine trees fit for naval purposes, and 
that this object could have been carried into effect without 
injury to the numerous classes of His Majesty's subjects 
employed in manufacturing and shipping timber to the 
mother country. 

This resolution appears to have greatly annoyed 
Lieutenant Governor Smyth, who was a gentleman who 
seems to have had no small opinion of himself and of 
the office which he held. In a message which he com- 
municated to the House of Assembly a few days later, he 
said that he had read with surprise and concern the 
resolution of the House, animadverting upon the 
conduct of His Majesty's Executive Government in the 
Province. He expressed his belief that the resolution 
had been passed without due consideration, and stated 
that, as the business in question was a matter belonging 
exclusively to the Executive, the House should rescind 
the resolution, which was the subject of his complaint. 
This message was taken into consideration by the House 
on the same day, and Mr. Humbert, of St. John, who 
appears to have been one of the Lieutenant Governor's 
friends, moved a resolution that, as the system adopted 
by His Majesty's Government in this Province, for the 
payment of one shilling a ton on pine timber, was not 
necessarily within the consideration of the House of 


Assembly, any resolve of the House on the said system 
may be deemed an improper interference with His 
Majesty's prerogative. The resolution ended by 
declaring that the resolve, of which the Lieutenant 
Governor complained, should not be retained on the 
journals of the House. 

Fortunately there was enough manliness in the House 
of Assembly to reject this absurd resolution, which was 
defeated by a vote of 19 to 4; the four members who 
voted for it being Mr. Humbert, of St. John, Mr. Myles 
and Mr. Wilmot, of Sunbury, and Mr. Allen of York. 
The Lieutenant Governor seems to have been greatly 
annoyed at the refusal of the House of Assembly to 
comply with his request, and on the following day he 
came down and dissolved the House with the following 
words. " It was with great concern that I noticed your 
proceedings in a measure to which your attention has 
been very recently called, which conduct I cannot suffer 
to pass unnoticed, consistent with the duty I owe to my 
Sovereign. The only mode which you have now left me 
to do is by dissolving this general assembly." The House 
thus dissolved so peremptorily had only sat three sessions, 
and had still four more sessions to sit, under the septen- 
nial arrangement, which ' was then the law of the 

The subject of bonds on timber licenses does not 
seem to have been discussed by the Legislature during 
the session of 1820, but in 1821 a resolution was passed 
that an address be presented to His Excellency, the 


Lieutenant Governor, expressing the anxiety of the 
people of the Province with regard to these bonds, and 
asking whether any further instruction had been received 
from His Majesty, in regard to them, since the message of 
the llth of March, 1819. In reply to this the Lieuten- 
ant Governor informed the House that he had not 
received any instructions from His Majesty's ministers 
on the subject. 

The same session the House passed a resolution that 
an address be presented to the King, praying that 
His Majesty would be graciously pleased to direct that 
the duty of one shilling a ton on all timber be discon- 
tinued, and that His Majesty's subjects in this Province, 
who had entered into bonds for the payment of said duty, 
might be relieved from the payment of the same. A few 
days later a resolve was passed that an humble address 
be presented to His Excellency, praying that he would 
be pleased to take steps to have the timber bonds 
cancelled. On the following day, Governor Smyth 
informed the House of Assembly that under all the 
circumstances of the case, and remembering the em- 
barrassed state of the timber trade, he would lecommend 
to the favorable consideration of His Majesty's ministers 
the cancellation of such bonds as had already been taken 
for securing payment of that money. The matter was 
again brought up at the session of 1822 by a resolution 
asking the Governor if he had received any instruction 
from His Majesty's Government relative to the timber 
bonds or their cancellation. In reply, he submitted to 


the House a letter from Mr. Goulburn, stating that 
although Lord Bathurst had every disposition to recom- 
mend a compliance with the requisition to cancel the 
timber bonds, he was desirous of previously ascertaining 
the total amount of the bonds in question, in order that 
he might be able to judge how far the depression in the 
timber trade had been occasioned by an excessive issue 
of licenses. A few days later an address was ordered by 
the House, asking His Excellency to direct that a state- 
ment be furnished of the total amounts of bonds taken 
for pine timber cut on lands in this Province. Governor 
Smyth declined to comply with this request on the 
ground that the matter was then under the consideration 
of His Majesty's ministers. The House of Assembly 
was determined that this subject should not be allowed 
to rest, and a day or two later, on motion of Mr. Allen of 
York, it was resolved that a dutiful and humble address 
be prepared and laid before the King, praying that His 
Majesty take into consideration the depressed state of the 
timber trade of the Province, and that he direct that the 
bonds taken for pine timber cut on the Crown lands be 

The subject of the timber bonds still continued to 
engage the attention of the House. On the 15th March, 
1822, on motion of Mr. E. Simonds, it was resolved that 
His Excellency be asked to inform the House whether 
any regulation had been adopted with regard to the 
issuing of licenses for cutting pine timber on Crown 
lands, by which none was to be granted until a shilling a 


ton on the whole be first paid. On the 19th March 
the Governor returned for an answer to this question, 
that a new regulation had been adopted in Council 
respecting the cutting of pine timber, by which a shilling 
per ton was to be paid for the quantities applied for. On 
the 21st March, a draft address was reported to the 
House by a committee which had been appointed to 
prepare it, asking the King to take into consideration the 
depressed state of the timber trade of the Province, and 
to direct that the bonds taken for the pine timber cut on 
Crown lands be cancelled. The Governor was asked to 
lay this address at the foot of the throne, and he replied 
that, although he considered the address irregular, not 
having received the sanction of the Legislative Council, 
yet he would, as requested by the House, transmit it to 
His Majesty's ministers. He added that at the same 
time, he should consider it his duty to accompany it with 
his own observations and those of His Majesty's Council 
on the subject. On the same day, Lieutenant Governor 
Smyth prorogued the Legislature, accompanying his 
closing observations with some advice to the House of 
Assembly, in regard to what he conceived to be their 
errors as to the constitution of the Province. He directed 
their attention to the expediency of amending these 
errors as early as possible, and declared that the best 
method of discovering them was to compare the working 
of the constitution with the parliamentary forms and 
usages of the mother country. The modern reader will 
appreciate the absurdity involved in such a statement on 


the part of Lieutenant Governor Smyth, when it is 
remembered that at this period about one-third of the 
representatives in the British Parliament were elected 
from rotten boroughs which either had no population at 
all, or had so small a constituency that they were virtually 
under the control of the rich land owners, who held the 
territory in which they were situated. That was the 
system which the Lieutenant Governor of New Bruns- 
wick, seventy years ago, desired the free people of this 
Province to imitate. 

During the session of 1823 the House of Assembly 
inquired of the Lieutenant Governor whether any 
answer had been received in regard to their 
address, in reference to the duty on pine timber. 
In reply Governor Smyth laid before them a letter from 
Lord Bathurst, in which he stated that the matter had 
been referred to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, 
to whose department it more particularly belonged. He 
stated that in the meantime he concurred generally in 
the opinion put forth in the report of the Council. This 
opinion, it is hardly necessary to remark, was entirely 
opposed to the claims of the House of Assembly inter- 
fering with the regulation of the cutting of timber, which 
was held to be a subject belonging exclusively to the 

Lieutenant Governor Smyth took ill during this session 
of the Legislature, and died on the 27th March, 1823, so 
that the Province was relieved from the malign influence 
which he had exercised in England, on all matters where 


the House sought to limit the royal prerogative or the 
authority of the Council. 

In 1824 the House addressed President Chipman, who 
was administering the Government, for the purpose of 
ascertaining the amount of money paid to the Eeceiver 
General of His Majesty's casual revenue, or his deputy 
in this Province, between February 1822, and January 
1824. This reasonable request was refused by President 
Chipman on the ground that he could not give the infor- 
mation without instructions from the Lords Commissioners 
of His Majesty's Treasury, under whose control the 
casual revenues of the Province were held. President 
Chipman died just fifteen days after he gave the House 
of Assembly this answer, and was succeeded as president 
by John Murray Bliss. 

The session of 1825 was opened by Sir Howard 
Douglas, the new Lieutenant Governor, but the timber 
duties did not come up for discussion in the House at 
that session. The following session, however, on motion 
of Mr. Slason, of York, it was resolved to ask His Excel- 
lency to take such steps as he might deem expedient and 
proper to have the timber bonds taken for licenses in the 
years 1819, 1820 and 1821 cancelled. When this mes- 
sage was received by His Excellency, he replied that he 
would not fail to recommend to His Majesty's Govern- 
ment that the bonds referred to be cancelled. Sir 
Howard Douglas was a man of a different spirit from the 
narrow-minded, prejudiced person who was his predecessor 
in the office of Lieutenant Governor, and he was much 


more disposed to favor the interests of the people of New 
Brunswick than some of the natives of the Province, who 
got themselves placed in permanent public positions, 
which they used mainly for the purpose of promoting 
their own private fortunes, rather than for the benefit of 
the country. 

It was not, however, until February 9th, 1827, that 
Sir Howard Douglas was able to lay before the House of 
Assembly a message acquainting that body with the impor- 
tant fact that he had been duly authorized to comply with 
the address of the House and cancel the timber bonds. 
This good news was further confirmed by a message 
on the 7th March of the same year, when Sir Howard 
Douglas was able to inform the House of Assembly that 
the timber bonds taken between the years 1818 and 1821 
inclusive, amounting to 8,210 13s. 4d. had been can- 
celled agreeably to the directions of Earl Bathurst, of the 
31st July previous. Thus one episode of the controversy 
between the House of Assembly and the home author- 
ities, in regard to the timber revenues of the Province, 
was brought to a satisfactory conclusion. The same 
conclusion might have been reached years before had the 
Council of the Province displayed a more patriotic spirit, 
and been imbued with a stronger desire to advance the 
material interests of their fellow-subjects in the Province. 
It was the curse of this time that persons who considered 
themselves to belong to the upper classes, held themselves 
aloof from the people and professed to believe that their 
interests and those of the rest of the inhabitants of the 


Province, were entirely separate and distinct from each 
other. They forgot that the general prosperity of the 
Province could only be promoted by the prosperity of 
each individual in it, and that any regulation which 
imposed burdens on a leading industry, such as the 
timber trade, must necessarily be injurious to the entire 

The settlement of the timber bond business by no 
means closed the controversy with respect to the casual 
and territorial revenues. The fact that the House of 
Assembly had no control whatever over these revenues 
was a standing grievance which would continue to be the 
subject of agitation until it was removed. Prior to this 
time a new system of selling and disposing of the Crown 
lands of the Province had been introduced, and during 
the session of 1829 it came under the notice of the House 
of Assembly. On motion of Mr. Chandler, a series of 
resolutions was carried, praying His Majesty to annul the 
orders recently issued, in regard to the granting of Crown 
lands, which the House considered to be based on a 
system, which if persevered in, would be productive of 
great loss and damage to the Crown, and an irreparable 
injury to the colony. It seems that these regulations 
permitted the lands to be sold in large blocks, frequently 
without being sufficiently advertised, so that large areas 
were locked up which otherwise would have been opened 
to settlement. 

The Council of the Province joined the House on this 
occasion in an address to the King on the subject, show- 


ing that between the 30th of June, 1827, and the 31st of 
December, 1828, 187,336 acres of Crown lands had been 
sold, for which there had been received in payment only 
the sum of 965 16s. 4d., from which sum the incidental 
expenses attending the sales amounted to 503 18s. 8d., 
which being deducted, left the sum of 461 17s. 7d. as 
the net amount of the purchase money for these enormous 
areas of land. A very slight calculation will show that 
the land thus sold realized something less than a cent an 
an acre. Under these circumstances it need occasion no 
.surprise that even the Council became alarmed at a 
condition of affairs, which threatened to denude the 
public domain of its best lands without any suitable 
equivalent. Even this sum, inadequate as it was, was 
not available for any public purposes, because consider- 
ably larger amounts had been expended by the Surveyor 
General's department on the surveys, so that the land 
went for absolutely nothing. 

The question of the casual and territorial revenue of 
the Province was one which was not to be allowed to 
rest. In March, 1831, on motion of Mr. Partelow, it 
was resolved that an humble address be presented to His 
Honor the President, praying that he would cause to be 
laid before the House a detailed account, showing the 
amount paid into the casual revenues from the 1st of 
January, 1824, to the 1st of January, 1831, particular- 
izing the sums in each year respectively, and from what 
source or sources the revenue was derived ; also a state- 
ment of the expenditure from the casual revenue for the 


same period, and for what purposes, and under what 
authority the respective payments had been made ; also 
the amount of salaries enjoyed respectively by all heads 
of departments, and from what fund or funds their 
emoluments were derived. The committee appointed to 
present this address consisted of Mr. Partelow, Mr. 
Simonds, and Mr. Clinch, and they reported four days 
later that they had waited upon His Honor the President 
with the address of the House, relative to the civil list, 
and that he had replied, that consistently with such 
instructions as had been hitherto received respecting the 
King's casual revenue and the civil list of the Province 
he could not now comply with the prayer of the address 
but that he would transmit it for the consideration of His 
Majesty's ministers, and their orders thereon. 

The answer of His Honor the President was taken into 
consideration by the House on the 16th March, about a 
week after it had been received. Mr. Partelow moved a 
resolution, which was passed by the House, in which the 
former resolution of the House was recited, and it was 
resolved that, as the information sought for had not been 
obtained, the subject referred to in the address should be 
brought under the consideration of His Majesty's Govern- 
ment by an address from the House, and that a 
committee be appointed to prepare the same. Messrs. 
Partelow, Simonds and Chandler were appointed a 
committee to prepare this address, which was laid before 
the House of Assembly on the 31st March, and passed by 
a vote of 14 to 8. As this address was the basis of the 


demand made upon the Imperial Government for a 
change in the system of disposing of the casual and 
territorial revenues of the Province, I quote the major 
part of it. It was as follows : 

" Deeply sensible of the paternal affection entertained 
by Your Majesty for the welfare of all Your Majesty's 
subjects, however remote their situation from the parent 
state, the Assembly most humbly venture to bring under 
Your Majesty's notice the grievances which Your Majesty's 
loyal subjects residing in this colony endure from the 
office established here, called the office of Department of 
Crown Lands and Forests. 

" By the operation of the system practised in this 
office, very large sums are taken from the people of this 
Province for licenses to cut timber on Crown Lands, and 
although the Assembly do not question the right Your 
Majesty undoubtedly has to the lands in question, they 
think the tremendous powers with which the Com- 
missioner is vested, with regard to impositions of 
tonnage money and the enormous exactions for fees, to 
be incompatible with a free government, and to require 

" It is generally understood, as well as universally 
believed, that the Commissioner in question is under no 
control in this Province, and to this may be ascribed the 
mode in which licenses to cut timber are issued in very 
many cases, in quantities less than 100 tons, subject to a 
duty of Is. 3d. per ton, and the excessive fee on each of 
45s. By this mode, a large part of the receipts is paid 


in the shape of fees, at once injuring the subject without 
benefitting the revenue ; and the Assembly feel convinced 
if the office were under Colonial management, that while 
the oppressions would be removed, the revenues would 
be more productive ; and besides, the Assembly cannot 
but view with just alarm that the day may possibly 
come when, by a single mandate from the office, exac- 
tions of such magnitude may be made, as literally to stop 
the export trade of the country, a power which no person 
should have even the shadow of authority to exercise. 

" The Assembly, at an early day the present session, 
by an address to the administrator of the Government, 
sought for documents regarding this office, to enable them 
officially to bring the subject more in detail under the 
consideration of Your Majesty, but this information, so 
highly desirable and necessary, has been withheld from 
them ; and the Assembly, therefore, with great submis- 
sion, lay before Your Majesty herewith, a copy of the 
said address, with the reply thereto, for Your Majesty's 
gracious consideration. 

" It will by that be seen the objects contemplated by 
the Assembly ; no less than relieving Your Majesty's 
Government permanently from the burthen of the whole 
civil list of the Province, a subject which the Assembly 
humbly conceive to be of great advantage to the parent 
state, and only requiring that the revenues, from what- 
ever source or sources derived in or collected within the 
Province, should be placed under the control of its 


" The Assembly have so often brought under the notice 
of Your Majesty's royal predecessors, the privations 
endured by your loyal subjects, the first settlers of the 
country, and the unswerving attachment to the British 
constitution that induced them to abandon their homes 
and seek an asylum under British protection in a wilder- 
ness, that they deem it unnecessary to dwell upon that 
interesting topic on the present occasion. 

" But they humbly beg leave to represent to Your 
Majesty that although, as before expressed, they do nofc 
deny the unquestionable sovereignty of Your Majesty to 
the wild lands in this colony, they most humbly conceive 
that the revenues derived from them, when the trying 
circumstances under which this Province was originally 
settled are duly considered, should be under the control 
of the Legislature, although from the comparatively small 
value of the ungranted lands, with those granted, but 
little can be anticipated after the grant fees are first paid, 
and it will, therefore, be from the timber duties almost 
alone, the Assembly may expect any addition of revenue 
in part provision for the civil list. 

" The House of Assembly, therefore, most humbly pray 
that this, their representation, may meet from Your 
Majesty a gracious reception, and that Your Majesty will 
be pleased to give such directions to the administrator of 
the Government as will enable the Assembly to carry 
these important objects into effect." 

When the House met again in January, 1832, Sir 
Archibald Campbell was Governor. Sir Archibald 


Campbell was a soldier who had received his military 
education mainly in India and Burmah. He was there- 
fore very ill-suited to be the Chief Magistrate of a free 
people, especially in a Province like New Brunswick. 
Why the British Government persisted in sending men 
of the stamp of Sir Archibald Campbell to govern the free 
colonies of Great Britain in America, is something that is 
impossible now to understand. Bitter experience and 
the fatal results of their system of administration in the 
case of the old thirteen colonies ought surely to have 
taught the Government that better men were required 
for such service, but it would seem it did not have this 
effect. Whatever may have been Sir Archibald Campbell's 
merits as a soldier, he took a stand in the Province of 
New Brunswick as an enemy to liberty, and to all good 
Government, and he will be remembered as an upholder 
of an ancient despotic system which was falling to 
pieces, and as a man who endeavored, and for some time 
successfully, to stand in the way of the political progress 
of the country. 

A few days after the opening of the Legislature in 
1832, Lieutenant Governor Campbell laid before the 
House a despatch which he had received from Lord 
Goderich, referring to the address of the House, which had 
been passed the previous session. In regard to supplying 
information as to the amount of expenditure of the 
casual revenue, Lord Goderich said that he had not 
received any commands from His Majesty on the subject, 
and that,as the resolutions of the Assembly were grounded 


altogether on erroneous information, it was not in his 
power to authorize the Lieutenant Governor to comply 
with the request of the House. 

The preamble to the resolutions seemed to express the 
belief that His Majesty, in a speech from the throne in 
opening the Imperial Parliament, had announced his 
intention of surrendering all Provincial revenues, and 
placing them under the control of the Provincial Legisla- 
ture, and it seems this was the error to which Lord 
Goderich so pointedly directed their attention. 

This curt reply did not prevent the House of Assembly 
from again dealing with this important matter of revenne. 
A few days after Lord Goderich's reply had been received, 
a resolution was passed that an humble address be 
presented to His Excellency, praying that he would lay 
before the House an account of the monies received by 
all persons employed in collecting the casual and other 
Crown revenues, between the first day of January, 1830, 
and the 31st of December, 1831, inclusive, and that he 
would lay before the House a statement of the amount of 
the incomes of all officers in the civil departments of the 
Province. This resolution was passed by a vote of 18 to 
8, there being at that period in the Legislature 
an element unfriendly to liberty and progress, which 
was content to let the Crown lands revenues remain 
in the hands of the Imperial authorities. In reply 
to this address, Sir Archibald Campbell expressed 
his regret that with Lord Goderich's despatch before 
the House, they should have placed him under the 


necessity of declining to comply with this request. 

The House of Assembly was not deterred by the 
obnoxious and improper attitude of the Lieutenant 
Governor in regard to the casual and territorial revenues. 
It returned to the subject, and on motion of Mr. Simonds, 
resolved that it was reasonable and proper that His- 
Majesty should be relieved from the payment of the civil 
list of the Province, and it was necessary that information 
should be obtained as to the amount of the Crown 
revenues, and the annual charges thereon. It was also 
resolved that an address be presented to His Excellency* 
praying that he would cause to be laid before the House 
an account of the receipts and expenditure of His- 
Majesty's casual and all other Crown revenues levied, 
collected, and expended in the year 1831. Messrs, 
Simonds, Kinnear and Chandler were appointed a 
committee to wait upon the Lieutenant Governor with 
this address. They reported his reply as follows : 
" Gentlemen, the specific and loyal purposes for which 
information is asked in this address, respecting the 
amount and expenditure of His Majesty's casual revenue 
for the last year, enables me to give a willing compliance 
to the request of the House of Assembly, by directing 
the necessary documents to be laid before you." 

As there was nothing in the last address of the House 
different in any respect from its predecessors, it must be 
assumed that the ready compliance of the Lieutenant 
Governor was due to information received from England, 
in regard to the intentions of the British Government 


with, respect to the casual and territorial revenue. It 
appeared from the returns then furnished that the Crown 
land receipts of the Province for the year 1831 amounted 
to 14,913 18s. 5id., out of which was taken 1,750 
for the salary of the Surveyor General, 909 for his 
clerks, 2,750 Is. for the expenses of preparing and 
issuing patents for lands sold and for timber licences, 
1,932 10s. 2d. for survey money, and 150 for the 
annuity of Mr. Lockwood. The rest of the revenue 
went to defray the salary of the Commander-in-Chief, 
the Chief Justice, three Assistant Judges, the Attorney 
General, the Secretary and Clerk of the Council, Immi- 
gration Agent, the Archdeacon, the Presbyterian minister 
of St. John, a donation to King's College, and a donation 
to the Indians. 

A few days later, on motion of Mr. Simonds, it was 
resolved that, in the opinion of the House, a proposition 
should immediately be made to His Majesty's Govern- 
ment, that upon the condition that all the Crown 
revenues, levied and collected in this Province, which 
might arise from the sale of Crown lands therein by His 
Majesty's Government, be placed under the control and 
management of the Provincial Legislature, this House 
will then make proper provision for the whole civil list 
in the Province ; and further resolved, that a committee 
be appointed to prepare a petition to His Majesty upon 
the subject of the Crown revenues and civil list of the 

The address, which was the result of this resolution, 


was as follows : " The House of Assembly of Your 
Majesty's loyal Province of New Brunswick, humbly beg 
leave to call the attention of Your Majesty to the situa- 
tion of the Crown revenues, and the management of the 
Grown lands and forests in this Province, sensible that 
the paternal affection of your Majesty for the welfare of 
all your subjects, wherever situated, will induce your 
Majesty to give to this address that consideration which 
its importance to the prosperity of New Brunswick 

" The House of Assembly having received such infor- 
mation from the Lieutenant Governor of the Province as 
His Excellency was authorized to give upon the subject 
of your Majesty's casual revenues, by which it appears 
large sums are received from the people of the Province, 
at a charge far greater than would be necessary under 
proper management, are convinced of the justice and 
propriety of relieving your Majesty from the payment of 
any part of the civil list of the Province, and beg leave 
to submit this, their proposition, to take upon themselves 
the payment of all the necessary expenses of the civil 
government of the Province, by making such permanent 
and other grants as may be necessary for this purpose. 

" In making this proposition, the Assembly do it in 
the full assurance that previous to this measure being 
carried into effect, your Majesty will accede to the 
reasonable condition that all the Crown revenues levied 
and collected in the Province, or which may arise from 
the sale of Crown lands by your Majesty's government, 


shall be placed under the management and control of the 
Provincial Legislature. 

" The Assembly are satisfied that no measure could 
more conduce to the true interests of your Majesty and 
to the prosperity of this Province, than the proposed one 
of placing the management and control of your royal 
revenues in the Legislature of the Province, by which 
the complaints of the people of the Province against the 
system adopted for collection of the casual revenues 
would be removed, and a large saving in the collection of 
said revenues effected. 

" The Assembly are well assured that under a proper 
system of management, the expense of collecting the 
Crown revenues in the Province could be reduced to less 
than half the amount of the present charges, and that the 
saving to be effected would be of incalculable advantage 
to the Province, in opening roads and making bridges, to 
facilitate the improvement of the country, and the settle- 
ment of emigrants from the L T nited Kingdom. 

" The Assembly will not further urge the necessity of 
correcting the present system of collecting the Crown 
revenues in the Province, as they hope they have made 
it sufficiently apparent to your Majesty ; and they there- 
fore beg leave to suggest for your Majesty's consideration, 
that for carrying the proposition made in this address 
into effect, they will make such provision for the salaries 
of all officers in the civil department, as is consistent with 
the resources and condition of the Province, and which, 
in addition to the sums required as a provision for the 


ordinary services, would leave but a small surplus of the 
Crown and ordinary Provincial revenues to be applied to 
general purposes of improvement ; and in adopting here- 
after a scale of salaries, the Assembly are of the opinion 
that the sums named for each officer should be in full of 
all fees and emoluments of every nature and kind what- 
ever ; and that the usual fees should be collected and 
accounted for quarterly, and become a part of the 
revenues to be placed under the control of the Legislature, 

" The Assembly cannot think that the Crown revenues, 
even under a judicious and economical system of man- 
agement will, for a long period, be sufficiently productive 
to pay the annual expenses of the civil list, and they are 
persuaded that in a few years a large proportion of those 
expenses must be provided for out of the ordinary 
revenues of the Province. 

"The Assembly cannot refrain from remarking how 
desirable it would be that a final arrangement should be 
made of all questions of revenue which have arisen or 
might arise between your Majesty's government and the 4 
Legislature of this Province, and they therefore most 
earnestly pray that your Majesty would give to this 
address an early and favorable consideration." 

A committee was appointed to wait on the Lieutenant 
Governor and ask him to transmit this address to His 
Majesty. Sir Archibald Campbell replied that he should 
do so, but he would consider it his imperative duty to 
accompany it with such explanations as he might deem 
necessary, and particularly to rebut the charges made 


against the public departments. Thus the Lieutenant 
Governor assumed an attitude of direct hostility to the 
House of Assembly in regard to this highly important 

The Crown land difficulty was not lost sight of during 
the session of 1833. Early in that session, on motion of 
Mr. Partelow, a resolution was carried, that an humble 
address be presented to His Excellency, praying that he 
would cause to be laid before the House, at as early a 
date as possible, a detailed account, showing the amount 
of the Crown revenues from the 1st of January, 1829, to 
the 1st of January, 1833, particularizing the amount' 
received each year ; also a statement of the salaries of all 
the public officers paid from the Crown revenues. To 
this the Lieutenant Governor replied, expressing his- 
regret that he did not consider himself authorized to 
furnish accounts embracing a period so long elapsed, but 
that he would furnish the House of Assembly with 
returns of the receipts and expenditures for the year 1832 
as he had done for the year 1831. A day or two later a 
despatch from Lord Goderich was laid before the House 
of Assembly by the Lieutenant Governor, in which he 
acknowledged the receipt of their despatch, proposing to 
assume the expenses of the civil list of the Province on 
the relinquishment by the Crown of the territorial 
revenues. v -The reply to this was, that His Majesty did 
not consider it necessary at present to call upon the 
House for a grant of the nature proposed, as he did not 
anticipate such a falling off of the revenue at his disposal 


as the House appeared to have apprehended. This was a 
sarcastic way of informing the House of Assembly that 
no change was to be made in the management of the 
casual and territorial revenues of the Province. 

Sir Archibald Campbell, at a later day during this 
session, laid before the House an account of the casual 
and territorial revenue for 1832. From this account it 
appeared that there was a balance on hand in favor of 
the revenue, on the 1st of January, 1832, amounting to 
4,617 12s. 8d., and that the receipts for the year 
brought up the total to 20,421 12s. 6|d., against which 
. warrants had been drawn for 11,764 6s. 8d., leaving a 
balance of 8,657 os. 10|d. at the end of the year. This 
account was referred to a committee, who called attention 
to " the tremendous expenses attendant upon the Crown 
land department, the enormous salary of the Commissioner 
and the large amount swallowed up in the collection and 
protection of this revenue." They expressed the opinion 
that under proper management an immense saving could 
be effected. The reply of the Lieutenant Governor to 
their address for information in regard to the Crown 
lands was considered by a committee of the House of 
Assembly, and resulted in the passing of the following 
series of resolution : 

1. Eesolved, As the opinion of this Committee that 
the powers exercised by the Commissioner of Crown 
Lands and Forests in this Province are far greater than 
ought to be possessed by any subject, and that these 
powers have been too frequently used in a manner 


exceedingly detrimental to the general interests of this 
Province, as well as to the invasion of private rights. 

2. Resolved, As the opinion of this Committee, that 
the abuse of these powers has disturbed that tranquillity 
which every subject ought to enjoy, and which can only 
result from a consciousness that his rights cannot be 
invaded with impunity by the rich and powerful. 

3. Eesolved, As the opinion of this Committee, that 
the timber and extensive mill reserves which have been 
made to individuals, are highly injurious to the com- 
mercial prosperity of this Province, by preventing fair 
and honorable competition and the introduction of capital, 
discouraging the industry and enterprise of the lumber- 
men and new settlers, and creating great dissatisfaction 
throughout the country. 

4. Resolved, As the opinion of this Committee, that 
the want of control by the Legislature over the Commis- 
sioner of Crown Lands and Forests and the revenues 
collected by him, and the refusal of His Excellency, the 
Lieutenant Governor, to furnish the Assembly with 
particular accounts of the receipts and expenditure of 
these revenues, to the extent prayed for by the House, 
have given just reason to believe that great abuses exist 
in that department. 

5. Resolved, As the opinion of this Committee that 
the majority of the present Executive Council of the 
Province cannot have the confidence of the country, inas- 
much as the first named on the list holds the situation of 
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Forests in this 


Province, an office of such great power and authority as 
renders it incompatible with the administration of the 
government of the Province, to which such Councillor 
would immediately succeed, in the event of the death or 
absence of the Lieutenent Governor, and that the persons 
second and third named on the said list hold public 
situations in this Province also inconsistent with the 
administration of the government, to which they might 
hereafter succeed ; and it is the further opinion of this 
Committee that the composition of the said Executive 
Council is highly unsatisfactory, by the exclusion there- 
from of old and faithful councillors who were entitled by 
the former Constitution to succeed to the government of 
the Province, prior to any of those placed on the list of 
the Executive Council. 

A Committee on Grievances consisting of Messrs. 
Kinnear, Siinonds, Chandler, Partelow, Taylor, Weldon 
and Wyer had been previously appointed for the purpose 
of taking into consideration and investigating all matters 
in connection with the Crown lands, which were the 
subject of complaint. After hearing the evidence of a 
number of witnesses and reporting to the House, this 
Committee prepared an address to His Majesty which 
recited the difficulties in connection with the Crown 
lands of the Province, in very similar terms to the resolu- 
tion already quoted. The House resolved to send a 
deputation to England with the petition which had been 
prepared by the Committee on Grievances, and they asked 
the Lieutenant Governor to give to the deputation such 


letters to the Secretary of the State for the colonies as 
would enable them with as little delay as possible to 
enter upon the important matters entrusted to them. Sir 
Archibald Campbell replied that he could not comply 
with the prayer in the address, and that, even if he con- 
sidered himself authorized to do so, the well known 
accessability of the Colonial Secretary would render such 
letters unnecessary. The deputies appointed to proceed 
to England and lay the grievances of the Province at the 
foot of the throne, were Charles Simonds and Edward B. 
Chandler, both men of wealth, influence and position, and 
well qualified for the performance of the work with which 
they were entrusted. Messrs. Chandler and Simonds 
arrived in England in June, 1833, and immediately placed 
themselves in communication with the Eight Honorable 
E. G. Stanley, who was then Colonial Secretary. Their 
report was laid before the Legislature in February, 1834, 
and the result was highly satisfactory to the House of 
Assembly. A few days later a despatch from Mr. Stanley 
to Sir Archibald Campbell was laid before the House, in 
which he stated the terms on which he should feel that 
His Majesty might properly be advised to place the pro- 
ceeds of the casual and territorial revenue under the 
control of the Assembly of New Brunswick. He would, 
he said, be prepared to advise His Majesty to accept a 
permanent appropriation by the Legislature, duly secured, 
to the amount of 14,000 per annum, and that the Crown 
should undertake to charge on any such permanent grant 
the salaries of the Lieutenant Governor, his Private 


Secretary, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, Provincial 
Secretary, Chief Justice, three puisne Judges, the Attor- 
ney General, Auditor, Eeceiver General, the expenses of 
the indoor establishment of the Crown Land department, 
and a grant of 1,000 to the College. It would be 
necessary, Mr. Stanley stated, that any bill passed in 
consequence of the proposal contained in this despatch, 
should contain a suspending clause in order that it might 
be submitted to His Majesty before it was finally assented 
to. It was also stated, in order to prevent misunder- 
standing or delay, that the House should be apprised that, 
unless some other fully equivalent and sufficient security 
could be devised, it would be expected that the act should 
provide that the stipulated annual commutation should 
be payable out of the first receipts in each year, and that 
in case of any default in such payment that the whole of 
the revenue surrendered should revert to the Crown. A 
Committee was appointed to prepare the bill on the sub- 
ject of the surrender, by His Majesty, of his casual and 
territorial revenues of the Province. The House of 
Assembly had previously passed a resolution that the sum 
of 14,000, required by His Majesty's government as 
a permanent grant for the surrender of the casual and 
territorial revenues of the Province, was greater than the 
charges contemplated to be thereon required, yet that the 
great desire of the House of Assembly to have this 
important subject finally settled, should induce them to 
accept the proposal contained in Mr. Stanley's despatch. 
On the day after this a resolution was passed and a 


Committee appointed ; the Lieutenant Governor commu- 
nicated to the House of Assembly an extract from a 
despatch, received the previous day by him from the 
Right Honorable Mr. Stanley, dated the 4th January, 
1834. This extract was as follows : 

" In your message communicating to the Assembly the 
proposal contained in my despatch of the 30th September, 
you will take care distinctly to explain that the payments 
expected from the New Brunswick Land Company are 
not included in the revenue which is offered to the accept- 
ance of the Assembly." It is with great regret that an 
historian of this period must record the receipt of such a 
despatch from an Imperial head of department to a 
Colonial Governor, for the spirit displayed in the message 
was not that of an enlightened statesman, but such as 
might have been expected from a peddler, or an old 
clothesman, who was endeavoring to drive the hardest 
possible bargain with the Province of New Brunswick, 
and to grind down the House of Assembly as much as 
possible, in order that a number of bloated officials, 
swollen with pride and enjoying enormous salaries, might 
not suffer. 

A few days after the receipt of this despatch a resolu- 
tion was passed by the House in Committee, regretting 
that the additional condition contained in Mr. Stanley's 
last despatch would prevent the Committee recommending 
to the House further action in the matter of preparing a 
civil list bill. Thus ended the attempt to settle this 
vexed question in the year 1834. The House of Assem- 


bly, however, still continued to agitate the matter, and to 
make Sir Archibald Campbell's life a burden to him. On 
the 7th March they addressed him, asking for accounts 
in detail of the casual and territorial revenues, and calling 
for a number of statements which they had not received 
except in such a shape that they could not be properly 
understood. They also addressed His Excellency, request- 
ing him to lay before them copies of all official despatches 
transmitted to him by the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies since he assumed the administration of the 
government, relating to the subject of the casual and 
territorial revenues. The reply of His Excellency to the 
request for more detailed accounts was a courteous one ; 
but while he consented to furnish the accounts requested 
in detail, it was with the understanding that his compli- 
ance was not to be considered as a precedent. He 
declined, however, to give the names of the parties who 
had their timber seized or forfeited, or the names of the 
petitioners for Crown land. He also refused to furnish 
the accounts of the Keceiver General and Commissioner 
of Crown Lands on the ground that they were accounts 
exclusively between these officers and the Crown. 

With regard to the request for his correspondence with 
the Colonial Secretary, Sir Archibald Campbell, in 
another message, gave a tart refusal, stating that such a 
request was subversive of the principles and spirit of the 
British Constitution, and that he would ill deserve the 
confidence put in him by His Majesty were he to hesi- 
tate in meeting so dangerous an encroachment, not only 


on the independence of the Executive, but the preroga- 
tives ,of the British Crown, with a most decided and 
unqualified refusal. This old military tyrant considered 
himself a proper exponent of the principles and spirit of 
the British Constitution. He failed to understand that 
the British Constitution rests upon the support of the 
people, while his system of government was intended to 
ignore the people altogether. 

A few days after the receipt of this message, a resolu- 
tion was passed by the House of Assembly, declaring that 
the language used by the Lieutenant Governor, in his 
reply to the address of the House, was at variance with 
all Parliamentary precedent and usage, and such as was 
not called forth by the address. Some of the Governor's 
friends attempted to weaken the force of this resolution 
by an amendment of a milder nature, but their amend- 
ment was defeated, and the resolution carried by a vote 
of 15 to 8. Another address on the subject of the casual 
and territorial revenues and civil list was prepared and 
passed by the Assembly for the purpose of being 
forwarded to His Majesty. It recited the proceedings in 
regard to the matter which had taken place already, and 
the desire of the House of Assembly to accept the 
proposition contained in Mr. Stanley's despatch, and 
expressed the regret of the House at the new condition 
imposed with regard to the New Brunswick Land Com- 
pany, which made it impossible to accept the settlement 
as amended. The House concluded by expressing the 
hope that the terms proposed in the original despatch 


might yet be considered definitive, and that the proviso 
with regard to the New Brunswick Land Company might 
be withdrawn. This was transmitted to England ; but 
before the year ended Sir Archibald Campbell concluded 
to rid himself of the House of Assembly, which had 
given him so much annoyance, and accordingly it was 
dissolved early in November, so that when the Legislature 
met again in January, 1835, the House of Assembly was 
a new one, although largely composed of the old mem- 
bers. The answer to the address of the House to the 
King of the previous session was not laid before the 
House of Assembly until that body had been sitting about 
a month. It consisted of an extract from a despatch of 
the Earl of Aberdeen, dated Downing street, 24th Decem- 
ber, 1834. This despatch is so curious a document that 
it is well worth being quoted. The portion of it laid 
before the House of Assembly was as follows : 

" I have had under my serious consideration your 
despatch No. 17, of the 24th March last, accompanied by 
an address to His Majesty from the House of Assembly, 
respecting the recent offer which has been made to them 
of the proceeds of the Crown revenues in New Brunswick. 

"From various parts of the address I infer that 
the proposal conveyed to the Assembly, through my 
predecessors, must have been misapprehended in 
more than one important particular; and I have 
especially remarked the erroneous assumption that, in 
offering to surrender the proceeds of the Crown lands, 
it was intended also to give up their management, 


and to place them under the control of the Legislature. 

" From the course of their proceedings, as well as the 
tenor of the present expression of their sentiments, the 
Assembly must be understood to consider it an indispen- 
sable condition that the payments of the Laud Company 
should be comprised among the objects to be surrendered 
to them. This is a condition to which His Majesty's 
government cannot agree. His Majesty's government 
would also be unable to recognize the interpretation which 
was placed on their former offer, so far as regards the 
control over the lands belonging to the Crown in New 
Brunswick. Under these circumstances I can only desire 
you to convey to the Assembly His Majesty's regrets 
that the objects of their address cannot be complied with; 
and adverting to the wide difference between the views 
entertained by the government and those manifested by 
the Assembly on this subject, it seems to me that no 
advantage could be anticipated from making any further 
proposals at present respecting the cession of the terri- 
torial revenue." 

This despatch, which brought a sudden close to the 
negotiations with regard to the casual and territorial 
revenues of the Province, did not emanate from the 
government with which the House of Assembly had been 
previously negotiating, but from a new administration 
which had just been formed under the premiership of Sir 
Eobert Peel, and which lasted just one hundred nd 
thirteen days. The creation of this administration was 
due to the action of King William IV., in dismissing his 


advisers on the death of Earl Gray. The King had grown 
to detest his Cabinet for their reforming spirit, but 
fortunately for Great Britain and for New Brunswick, 
the King's designs were thwarted by the failure of Sir 
Eobert Peel to form an administration capable of facing 
the House of Commons. As a consequence, Viscount 
Melbourne became premier, and a renewal of the 
negotiations with the government in regard to the casual 
and territorial revenues was rendered possible. During 
the same session that this despatch was received, another 
address was prepared by the House of Assembly, to be 
laid before His Majesty, on the subject of the casual and 
territorial revenues. In this address the grievances with 
regard to the management of the Crown Lands of New 
Brunswick were recited, and the willingness of the Legis- 
lature to provide for the civil establishment of the 
Province was stated. The address urged the benefits that 
would result to the people of New Brunswick by placing 
the net proceeds of the Crown land revenues under the 
control of the Legislature. Attached to this address was 
a schedule of salaries paid out of the casual and territorial 
revenues, amounting in all to 10,500 currency. The 
address was transmitted to the Governor to be forwarded 
to His Majesty. 

This session was remarkable from the fact that it closed 
without the passage of any appropriation bill. This was 
due to the action of the Legislative Council, who rejected 
the appropriation bill, because it did not contain any 
provision for the payment of the expenses of the President 


and the members of that body. The Legislature was 
prorogued on the 19th March, and called together again 
on the 15th June, when a short session was held for the 
purpose of passing the appropriation bill. At this session 
the bill for collecting Quit Rents, which has been already 
referred to, was passed, but no further steps were taken 
in regard to the casual and territorial revenue. 

At the Legislative session of 1836, the House of 
Assembly again passed an address to the King on the 
subject of the grievances of the Province, with regard to 
the casual and territorial revenues, and Messrs. L. A. 
Wilmot and William Crane were appointed a deputation 
to proceed to England, for the purpose of concluding 
arrangements in regard to these matters. They arrived 
in England in June of that year, and immediately placed 
themselves in communication with Lord Glenelg, with 
whom they had many interviews. The result of their 
work was that an arrangement was made satisfactory 
both to the British Government and to the delegates 
representing the House of Assembly, by which the casual 
and territorial revenues were to be transferred to the 
Province, in consideration of the Legislature undertaking 
to provide for a civil list of 14,500 currency annually, 
for the payment of certain salaries chargeable to that 
fund. A draft of a civil list bill was prepared and agreed 
to by the Lords of the Treasury, and the understanding 
was that this bill should be passed by the Legislature, and 
receive the assent of the Lieutenant Governor, when it 
would immediately become operative. 


The first clause of this bill transferred the proceeds of 
the territorial and casual revenues, and of all woods, 
mines and royalties which had been collected, and were 
then in hand, or which should thereafter be collected to 
the Provincial Treasurer ; he was authorized to receive 
them for the use of the Province, while the act remained 
in force. The second clause charged the revenues with 
the payment of 14,500 for a civil list. The third clause 
enacted that all the surplus over and above the sum of 
14,500 currency, should remain in the Treasury of the 
Province, until appropriated or disposed of by an act or 
acts of the General Assembly. The fourth clause gave 
the Lieutenant Governor, with the advice of his Execu- 
tive Council, power to expend such sums as they might 
deem necessary for the prudent management, protection 
and collection of the said revenues, a detailed account of 
which was to be laid before the Legislature within four- 
teen days of the commencement of each session, with all 
vouchers for the same. It was also enacted that all grants 
or sales of Crown lands should be void unless the land 
had been sold at public auction, after due notice in the 
" Royal Gazette." By -this arrangement the House of 
Assembly had obtained the boon for which they had so 
long been contending, but there was still one more 
obstacle to be overcome, the opposition of the Lieutenant 
Governor, Sir Archibald Campbell, who had entered into 
a plot with some of the enemies of freedom in the Prov- 
ince for the purpose of thwarting not only the wishes of 
the House of Assembly, but also the intentions of the 


Home Government. As soon as Sir Archibald Campbell 
was apprised of the intention of His Majesty's advisers in 
England to transfer the casual and territorial revenues to 
the Provincial Legislature, he commenced a correspon- 
dence with the Colonial office, pointing out what he 
deemed to be imperfections in the scheme which they 
had prepared for the management of the public lands. 
He pretended to have discovered that there was some 
error in the calculation of the Lords of the Treasury with 
regard to the sum to be paid in lieu of the Civil List, and 
that the amount of 14,500 currency would not be suf- 
ficient to defray all the expenditures chargeable on the 
Civil List. Sir Archibald Campbell, soon after the open- 
ing of the session of the Legislature in December, 1836, 
requested the House of Assembly to add a suspending 
clause to any Civil List bill they might pass, so that he 
might forward it to the home government for their 
approval. As this was entirely contrary to the under- 
standing which had been reached between Messrs. Wilmot 
and Crane and the Colonial Secretary, it being understood 
that the Civil List bill if passed in the form agreed upon 
would be immediately assented to by the Lieutenant 
Governor, the House of Assembly very naturally refused 
to comply with Sir Archibald Campbell's wishes. The 
old military tyrant, however, held firm in his resolution, 
and the Civil List bill which had been agreed to by the 
home authorities, after being passed by both houses, did 
not receive his assent. At the close of the session, while 
the matter was under discussion, at the instigation of the 


Lieutenant Governor, one of the Executive Council, Sol- 
icitor General Street, was sent on a secret mission to 
Downing street. The object of this mission was to make 
such representations to the home authorities as would 
induce them to delay in giving their assent to the Civil 
List bill. The truth of the matter seems to have been 
that Sir Archibald Campbell and his advisers in New 
Brunswick thought if they could only gain time, 
the Imperial Government of England, which had granted 
such favorable terms to the Province might be defeated, 
and a Tory Government would come into power which 
would speedily undo all their predecessors had done, and 
refuse to grant any concessions to the Legislature of New 
Brunswick. There was great excitement in the Prov- 
ince in consequence of the action of the Lieutenant 
Governor, and this excitement was fairly voiced in the 
House of Assembly, where an address was prepared 
representing the condition of affairs to His Majesty, and 
detailing the manner in which the Lieutenant Governor 
had sought to thwart the intentions of the Imperial Gov- 
ernment. This address was passed by a vote of 27 to 2, 
the only members of the House who ventured to stand 
in with the man who occupied Government House being 
John Ambrose Street and William End. 

Messrs. Crane and Wilmot were again appointed a 
deputation to proceed to England with this address of the 
House of Assembly, and took their departure two days 
after it was passed, amidst great popular demonstrations 
of the citizens of Fredericton. The Legislature was 


prorogued on March 1st, on which day the House of 
Assembly again requested the Lieutenant Governor to 
pass the Civil List bill, pointing out that under the 
arrangements made with the Colonial Office it was his 
duty to do so, but their request fell upon deaf ears. In 
the speech proroguing the Legislature, Sir Archibald 
Campbell stated that he had withheld his assent from this 
bill because a suspending clause had not been appended 
to it. These were the last words that Sir Archibald 
Campbell was destined to speak before a New Brunswick 
Legislature. Finding that all his hopes of impeding the 
progress of the Province in the direction of liberty were 
in vain, he tendered his resignation to save himself from 
being removed, as he would have been, for his direct 
disobedience to the commands of his superiors in England. 
Sir John Harvey, a real soldier, and a man of a very 
different spirit, was appointed to succeed him as Lieuten- 
ant Governor. The Civil List bill was again passed by 
the Legislature and received the royal assent, becoming 
law on July 17, 1837, and from that time to the present 
the Province of New Brunswick has controlled the 
revenues which it derives from its Crown Lands and 
similar sources, and whether wisely expended or not, the 
people of this Province have at least the satisfaction of 
knowing that the money is appropriated by their own 
representatives, and by a Government which is responsible 
to them for its actions. 

The manner in which the money granted by the Prov- 
ince as a consideration for the surrender of the Casual 


and Territorial Eevenue was to be appropriated, was 
specified in" the despatch of Lord Glenelg and was as 
follows : 

Salary of the Lieutenant Governor, 3,500 

Chief Justice 950 

Three Puisne Judges 1,960 

Attorney General, 550 

Solicitor General, 200 

Private Secretary, 200 

Commissioner of Crown Lands, 1,750 

Establishment of Crown Lands, 909 

Provincial Secretary, 1,430 

Auditor, 300 

Receiver General, 300 

Scotch Minister, 50 

Emigrant Agent at St. John, 100 

Annuity to late Surveyor General, 150 

College, 1,000 

Indians, 54 

Total, in Sterling money, 13,393 

It will be observed from the above figures that the 
salaries were arranged on a sufficiently liberal scale, the 
Surveyor General alone receiving as large a sum as the 
three principal heads of department in the present Gov- 
ernment of New Brunswick are now paid. The Lieuten- 
ant Governor received about double the present salary of 
that official, and the Secretary of the Province was paid 
almost three times as much as the present incumbent of 
that office. Those were the days when officers enjoyed 
enormous incomes and performed but little service for 



The transfer of the Casual and Territorial Revenues of 
the Province placed a very large sum, amounting to 
150,000, at the disposal of the Legislature and made 
the Government, for the time being, rich. This, however, 
was by no means an unmixed benefit, because it intro- 
duced a spirit of extravagance into the Legislature, which 
was not calculated to be advantageous to the Province. 
Having so much money at their disposal the members of 
the House of Assembly expended it freely, frequently for 
objects that were not at all essential to the public welfare. 
This, however, is a matter which has no necessary place 
in this work, except for the purpose of illustrating the 
faulty system of appropriating the public money, which 
prevailed at the time. It has already been explained in 
previous pages that there was no executive control of the 
expenditure. The initiation of money grants being in the 
House of Assembly, any private member had it in his 
power to move an appropriation of money for any object 
that he deemed proper. In this way a system of "log 
rolling" was inaugurated in the Legislature which resulted 


in extravagant expenditures, and the appropriation of 
money for objects which, under a better system, would 
not have received it. As a result of this evil system the 
surplus of the Casual and Territorial Revenue was very 
speedily dissipated and in the year 1842, when Sir 
William Colebrooke became Lieutenant Governor of the 
Province, its finances were in an embarrassed condition. 
Towards the close of 1841 a despatch was received from 
Lord Stanley, the Colonial Secretary, suggesting that it 
was desirabje that a better system of appropriating the 
funds of the Province should be inaugurated. This 
brought up a discussion in the Legislature during the 
session of 1842 in regard to the propriety of adopting the 
principle of placing the initiation of money grants in the 
Executive Council. Mr. L. A. Wilmot moved a resolu- 
tion in a committee of the whole House that no appro- 
priation of public money should be made at any future 
session in supply, for any purpose whatever, until there 
be a particular account of the income and expenditure of 
the previous year, together with an estimate of the sums 
required to be expended, as well for ordinary as extra- 
ordinary services, respectively, and also a particular 
estimate of the principal amount of Revenue for the en- 
suing year. To this an amendment was moved by Mr. 
Partelow as follows : " Whereas the present mode of 
appropriation, tested by an experience of more than fifty 
years, has not only given satisfaction to the people of this 
Province, but repeatedly attracted the deserved approba- 
tion of the Colonial Ministers, as securing its constitu- 


tional position to every branch of the Legislature ; there- 
fore resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that it is 
not expedient to make any alteration in the same." This 
amendment was carried by a vote of 18 to 12, the minor- 
ity including Mr. Charles Fisher of York, who afterwards 
became prominent as a reformer and did good service to 
the cause of liberalism in connection with his colleague, 
Mr. L. A. Wilmot. Such an amendment as that passed 
by the House of Assembly of New Brunswick in 1842 
would now only be an object of ridicule, because as a 
matter of fact the financial condition of the Province 
showed that the system of appropriation which prevailed 
was based on false principles, while the approval of 
the Colonial Ministers, of which so much account was 
made, had been equally extended to the most illiberal 
features of the constitution. There was, however, some 
excuse for the reluctance of the members of the House 
of Assembly to surrender the initiation of money votes 
to the Executive, because the Executive of that day was 
not a body properly under the control of the Legislature, 
or in sympathy with the people. 

The session of 1842 terminated the existence of the 
twelfth Legislature of New Brunswick, and a general 
election was held in December, 1842. At this election 
the question of Eesponsible Government, which was the 
term applied to the new system, was a prominent factor 
in determining the fate of the candidates. On the hust- 
ings all the aspirants for the Legislature were expected 
to give their views on this important matter, but the 


result of the election showed that the public mind was in 
a very unsettled condition in regard to it. For the city 
of St. John, Mr. R. L. Hazen, who was certainly not a 
person who favored Responsible Government, and Mr. 
W. H. Street, who favored the initiation of money grants 
being placed in the Executive, were elected. The suc- 
cessful candidates for the County were Mr. John R. 
Partelow, who was wholly opposed to any change in the 
Constitution, Mr. Robert Paine, Mr. John Jordan, and 
the Hon. Charles Simonds. The three latter were in 
favor of Responsible Government, so that the voice of St. 
John in regard to this vital and important political ques- 
tion was divided. In York County two anti-reformers, 
Messrs. Allen and Taylor, and the two great reformers of 
the Legislature, Mr. L. A. Wilmot and Charles Fisher, 
were elected, but the anti-reformers led the poll. When 
the House of Assembly met on the last day of January, 
1843, it was seen that the friends of Responsible Govern- 
ment were still in the minority, and Mr. John W. 
Weldon, as a representative of the old system, was elected 
speaker without any opposition. Still the friends of 
reform brought up the subject of the appropriation of the 
public monies by a resolution which sought to fix the 
responsibility of the expenditures on the Government. 
This was met by an amendment, moved by Mr. J. W. 
Weldon, that the House would not surrender the initia- 
tion of the money votes. The amendment was carried by 
a vote of 24 to 7, which showed that the friends of reform 

had still much leeway to make up before they could hope 
to impress their views upon the Legislature. 


As it was hopeless to expect that the House of Assem- 
bly, as thus constituted, would vote in favor of the trans- 
fer of the initiation of money grants to the Executive, 
the subject does not seem to have been discussed again 
during the remainder of its term ; but by the operation 
of the Quadrennial Act, which came in force in 1846, a 
new House was elected in that year, and at the first 
session of this House, held early in 1847, Mr. Fisher 
again brought forward resolutions requiring the Govern- 
ment to prepaje and bring before the Legislature such 
measures as might be required for the development of 
the provincial resources and the general advancement of 
the public interests. 

The debate on this resolution assumed the character of 
an attack on the Government, and the resolution was 
treated as one of want of confidence and defeated, the vote 
being 23 to 12. In the following year there was another 
discussion on the initiation of money grants, arising out 
of a despatch which had been received from Earl Grey, 
then Colonial Minister, in which he referred to the laxity 
of the system by which money was voted in the New 
Brunswick Legislature without any estimate, and sug- 
gested that the initiation of money grants should be 
surrendered to the Executive. 

This proposal was fiercely opposed and all the forces 
of ancient Toryism, were rallied against it, one member 
from Queens County, Mr. Thomas Gilbert, going so far 
as to apply to the advocacy of the old rotten system the 
soul-stirring words contained in Nelson's last signal at 


Trafalgar, "England expects that every man this day will 
do his duty." Finally the following resolution, which 
was moved by Mr. Fisher, was carried by a vote of 24 
to 11: "Eesolved, as the opinion of this committee, 
that the House should approve of the principles of 
Colonial Government contained in the despatch of the 
Eight Honorable Earl Grey, Her Majesty's principal 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, of the 31st March, 
1847, and for their application to this Province." This 
resolution was the first unequivocal admission by both 
parties that Eesponsible Government had obtained a foot- 
hold in New Brunswick. The passage of this resolution, 
however, made no difference in the practice of the Gov- 
ernment during the term of the Legislature elected in 
1846, and it was not until the year 1851, after the subject 
of this biography had become a member of the Legisla- 
ture, that a resolution was finally carried in the House 
of Assembly in favor of surrendering the initiation of 
money grants into the hands of the Executive Govern- 

The arrangement by which the Executive and Legis- 
lative Councils were separated,* which came in force in 
1833, although it was a decided improvement on the old 
state of affairs, did not produce universal satisfaction. 
The constitution of the Legislative Council was complained 
of, and it was described as an obstructive body which 
disregarded the wishes of the people. The complaints 
against the Legislative Council that the House of Assem- 
bly had to make were embodied in an address to the 


Queen, which was passed at the session of 1843. In 
this address it was stated that in the opinion of the 
House the Legislative Council should be composed of 
persons not only representing all the leading interests of 
the Province, but so independent in respect to property 
and so free from the official control, as to form a constitu- 
tional check on the Executive as well as a branch of the 
Legislature. Although by the laws that existed then 
members of the Assembly were required to be possessed 
of real estate to the value of 300, over and above all 
encumbrance, there was no property qualification what- 
ever required for members of the Legislative Council. 
The address of the House expressed the opinion that 
members of the Council should be required to possess a 
certain amount of real estate, and that their seats should 
be vacant on the loss of this qualification, or on their 
being bankrupt or a public defaulter, or from neglect to 
give their attendance for a given time without leave of 
the Lieutenant Governor. The address also stated that 
the constitution of the Legislative Council was defective 
and objectionable in other respects, because of the eighteen 
members who composed it a great proportion held offices 
at the pleasure of the Crown, and the principal officers of 
the Government usually formed a majority of the mem- 
bers present. It was also complained that members of 
the Church of England had too great a preponderance in 
the Council, the only members not of that communion 
being one Presbyterian and one Baptist, while there was 
not a single member in the Council who, in the opinion 


of the House, could be classed as a reformer. At the next 
session of the Legislature despatches were laid before the 
House of Assembly in which it was stated that the 
Council would be increased in number to twenty-one, and 
four new members of the Council were to be appointed. 
The new members then appointed were T. H. Peters, 
Admiral Owen, William Crane and George Minchin, while 
the Honorable Thomas Baillie, the Surveyor General, the 
Honorable Mr. Lee, the Eeceiver General, the Honorable 
Mr. Allanshaw, of St. Andrews, and the Honorable 
Harry Peters, of Gagetown, retired from the body. No 
doubt the retirement of two officials who received large 
salaries was some improvement, but the Council required 
much remodelling before it could be said to be an efficient 
body, or one in sympathy with the inhabitants of the 

The Legislative Council has now ceased to exist and it 
may be said of it that it was never a very satisfactory 
body for legislative purposes. Perhaps the original 
composition of it created a prejudice against Legislative 
Councils so as to hamper its activities, and from having 
been at first merely the echo of the wishes of the 
Governor, it became latterly, to a large extent, the echo of 
the wishes of the Government. Gradually it became 
relieved of its official members and in its latter years no 
head of a department ever occupied a seat in the Legisla- 
tive Council, for it was thought, and rightly, that the 
power ought to be in the House where the responsibility 
to the people was most felt, and that it was not wise to 


place a departmental official, whose department expended 
large sums of money, in a body which properly had no 
control over the public expenditure. The Legislative 
Council had undoubtedly from time to time many able 
and useful members, and at certain periods in the history 
of the Province, particularly during the confederation 
discussions, it took a firm stand in favor of measures 
which seemed essential to the prosperity of the British 
North American Provinces. No one can deny that at 
that time it exercised an authority fully equal to that 
of the lower House, but it cannot be doubted that some 
of this work was done at the expense of the proper 
balance of the constitution. Such an exercise of unusual 
authority on the part of a body not elected by the people 
may serve the purpose at a particular crisis, but cannot 
be commended, and if frequently repeated would end in 
the destruction of the constitution. The Legislative 
Council lost a considerable proportion of its able men at 
the time of confederation by the removal of twelve of its 
members to the Senate of Canada, although one or two 
remained with it who were not inferior to any of those 
who then took their departure. The new members who 
came in as their successors were naturally inferior to the 
old in practical experience and ability, and this had no 
doubt an influence on the future of the House. The 
example of Ontario, which was able to conduct its affairs 
with one House, showed that two independent branches 
of the Legislature were by no means necessary, and that 
the Council might be abolished with safety. No doubt 


it was difficult to bring this about among a people who 
had been trained to believe that there was something 
essential to legislation in the balance of king, lords and 
commons making up one legislative body. But in the 
course of time people began to think that the Council 
was not exactly the proper representative of the House 
of Lords, and the Lieutenant Governor was very far from 
standing in the position of a king. Old prejudices in 
favor of a constitution framed after a particular model 
are difficult to remove, but in the case of New Brunswick 
these prejudices have been finally overcome, and it is safe 
to say that in the course of time all the provincial legis- 
latures of Canada will consist of but a single chamber. 
It is equally safe to assert that under the new system 
the work of legislation will be as well or better done than 
it was under the old. 

It has been already stated that the Governor of the 
Province made such appointments to office as he pleased, 
usually without the advice of his Council. He was sup- 
posed to have power to do this as the representative of 
Her Majesty, and in the exercise of what was termed the 
Koyal Prerogative. In this way persons were frequently 
appointed to offices who were not residents of the Prov- 
ince, and in all other cases appointments were given to 
the members of certain favored families. In 1834 a 
vacancy was created on the Supreme Court Bench by the 
death of Chief Justice Saunders. Ward Chipman was 
appointed Chief Justice in place of Mr. Saunders, and 
the vacant puisne judgeship was given to James Carter, 


who afterwards became Chief Justice of the Province. 
James Carter was a young Englishman and was certainly 
no better qualified to fill the position of judge that many 
natives of the Province, so 'that it was undoubtedly a 
gross insult to the members of the New Brunswick bar 
to give such an appointment to a stranger. Yet so slow 
was public opinion to make itself felt in regard to the 
evil of the appointing power being given to the Governor 
without qualification, that ten years later the House of 
Assembly presented an address to Sir Charles Metcalf, 
Governor General of Canada, expressing the high sense 
entertained by them as representatives of the people of 
New Brunswick, of the " constitutional stand " taken by 
him in maintaining the Prerogative of the Crown in the 
then recent memorable conflict. The city of St. John 
also, to show its loyalty, presented a similar address, and 
one signed by one thousand persons was sent from the 
County of York. Yet nothing can be more clear than that 
the stand taken by Sir Charles Metcalf was wholly wrong, 
for it consisted in refusing to consult with his Council in 
regard to appointments, and in making appointments con- 
trary to their advice. What would the people of Canada 
say to-day to a Governor General who insisted on ap- 
pointing men to offices against the advice of his Cabinet ? 
Yet it was for doing this that the New Brunswick House 
of Assembly, the City and County of St. John and the 
County of York actually grovelled in the dust before this 
despotic Governor, thus approving of all his detestable 
acts. Such abasement and subserviency to an unconsti- 


tutional Governor was certain to bring its own punish- 
ment, and it came much sooner than any one could have 
anticipated. On Christmas day of the same year the 
Hon. William Franklin Odell, who had been Provincial 
.Secretary for thirty -two years, died at Fredericton. Mr. 
Odell's father had been Secretary before him from the 
foundation of the Province, so that the Odell family had 
held that important and highly lucrative office for sixty 

The Governor at this time was Sir William Colebrooke, 
and on the 1st of January, 1845, just one week after the 
death of Mr. Odell, he appointed his son-in-law, Alfred 
Eeade, who was a native of England and a stranger to 
the Province, to the vacant office. The gentlemen who 
had been most prominent in shouting their approval of 
the " constitutional stand" taken by Sir Charles Metcalf 
now suddenly discovered that Sir William Colebrooke's 
conduct in making this appointment, without consulting 
his Council, was a fearful outrage, and their distress was 
pitiable to behold. Several members of the Government, 
including such strong upholders of the Prerogative as the 
Hon. Eobert L. Hazen, of St. John, at once resigned their 
positions. A communication from three of them, Hugh 
Johnson, E. B. Chandler and E. L. Hazen, addressed to 
His Excellency, gave as their reasons for resigning that 
they could not justify the exercise of the Prerogative of 
the Crown in respect to Mr. Eeade's appointment, because 
they felt that the "elevation to the highest offices of trust 
and emolument of individuals whose character, services 


and claims to preferment, however appreciated elsewhere, 
are entirely unknown to the country generally, is preju- 
dicial to the best interests of the Province." They did 
not, however, make it a ground of objection that the 
appointment of Mr. Reade was forwarded for the royal 
approbation without the advice or concurrence of the 
Council. These gentlemen evidently thought it was too 
early for them to eat the words in regard to the Preroga- 
tive of the Crown of which they had been so free a few 
months before, but they showed their true character by 
deserting the Governor because he had been foolish 
enough to believe that their profuse expressions in favor 
of the Royal Prerogative were sincere. 

Hon. L. A. Wilmot, who also resigned, sent a separate 
communication to the Lieutenant Governor, in which he 
stated that such appointments should be given to inhab- 
itants of the Province and not to a comparative stranger 
and a transient person like Mr. Reade. He also expressed 
the opinion that the principles of Responsible Government 
should be put in operation in New Brunswick, and that 
the Provincial Secretary should be brought into the Ex- 
ecutive and should hold a seat in one of the Houses of 
the Legislature, his tenure of office being contingent upon 
the successful administration of the Government. When 
the House met, in the latter part of January, the 
Reade appointment immediately became the subject of 
discussion, and by the vote of 24 to 6, an address was 
passed to Her Majesty the Queen, condemning the 
appointment, not, as the members said, because they ques- 


tioned "in the remotest degree the Prerogative in its 
undoubted right to make such appointments," but because 
they thought that the right of appointment had been 
improperly or unjustly exercised. In other words the 
members of the House of Assembly surrendered the 
principle that appointments should be made by the 
Governor, with the advice of his Executive, and only 
objected to the Eeade appointment because in their 
opinion some one else should have been chosen. It is 
easy to see that in subscribing to this address the mem- 
bers of the House stultified themselves, and cut the 
ground from under their feet ; for if it was a part of the 
Prerogative of the Crown to make appointments without 
the advice of the Council, surely the exercise of that 
prerogative in the appointment of a particular individual 
could not be fairly questioned. The result of the diffi- 
culty, however, was the cancelling of Mr. Eeade's 
appointment by the home government. This decision 
was communicated to the House of Assembly by message 
on the 3rd of February, 1846. The despatch from the 
Colonial office, upon which the Lieutenant Governor 
acted, was written on the 31st of March, 1845, and must 
have been received by him at Fredericton not later 
than the last of April. But notwithstanding this des- 
patch Mr. Reade held office until the 17th of July, so it 
will be seen that Sir William Colebrooke was in no hurry 
to carry out the wishes of the home government. Lord 
Stanley, the writer of the despatch in question, expressed 
the opinion that public employment should be bestowed 


on the natives or settled inhabitants of the Province, and 
he thought that Mr. Reade did not come under this 
description. He closed his despatch with the following 
singular statement : " I observe with satisfaction that 
the House of Assembly have not only abstained from 
complicating the subject with any abstract questions of 
government, but have rejected every proposal for laying 
down formal principles upon such questions. The House 
has, I think, in this course done justice to the earnest 
desire of Her Majesty, that the Colonial administration 
generally should be conducted in harmony with the 
wishes of her people, whatever may be the variations 
arising out of local considerations and the state of society 
in various Colonies, subject to which that principle may 
be carried into practice ; and it is anxiously hoped that 
the same wise forbearance which has led the House of 
Assembly to decline the unnecessary discussion of sub- 
jects of so much delicacy, may lead them also to regard 
the practical decision now announced as the final close of 
the controversy, and to unite in the promotion, not of 
objects of party strife and rivalry, but of the more sub- 
stantial and enduring interests of the Colony which they 
represent." If these words have any meaning they seem 
to show that at that date the British Government believed 
the right of appointment to be in the Crown, without 
reference to the Council, and that they were unwilling 
any general principle should be laid down by the Legis- 
ture of the Province which conflicted with this view. 
Even so late as the year 1851 the Colonial Secretary 


ordered the Lieutenant Governor to appoint Mr. Justice 
Carter to be Chief Justice of the Province and Mr. L. A. 
Wilmot a puisne judge, without any reference whatever 
to the wishes of the Council on the subject, and this order 
was obeyed. Such an easy acquiescence in claims which 
could not be defended on constitutional grounds showed 
that even at the period when Mr. Tilley entered public 
life neither the British Government nor the people of 
this Province had grasped the true meaning of the con- 
stitution which was supposed to be in force in the 
Province. It was absurd to pretend that Eesponsible 
Government really existed in New Brunswick, if the 
Crown could make appointments to the most important 
offices on its mere motion, and without consulting the 
wishes of the people or their representatives. 

There were many people in New Brunswick at that ' 
time who had been ready to support constitutional 
improvements which directly affected their own interests, 
but who became very lukewarm advocates for reform 
when this spur to their activity was removed. They 
desired changes in the law relative to matters which 
directly touched themselves, but with respect to constitu- 
tional questions which were of more general interest, they 
held sometimes very conservative views. We can trace 
in the old system of family compact elements and 
conditions which afterwards arose in this Province and 
affected its politics. New Brunswick has always been 
slow to adopt constitutional changes, even when these 
changes were based on sound principles, and there has 


often been a great disposition on the part of our people 
to judge the merits of a question rather by its effect upon 
individuals than by its relation to the public interests. 
No person who has studied the political history of this 
Province in recent times will deny that this spirit still 
prevails, and it is one which has a continual tendency to 
make our people backward in political matters. Yet it 
is difficult now to understand how the people of New 
Brunswick so long endured the system by which they 
were governed, where a few powerful families controlled 
all the offices and all the influence, and legislated largely 
to suit themselves. Such a state of affaire could only 
have been tolerated by persons who had been trained to 
regard these influential families as their political superiors, 
and to accept with meekness whatever they might choose 
to impose upon them. 

I have now traced step by step the progress of the 
principal reforms in the constitution of this Province 
which were brought about between the year 1818, when 
Mr. Tilley was born, and 1850, when he became a mem- 
ber of the Legislature. These reforms were not brought 
about suddenly, nor were they achieved without difficulty, 
for there is in the human mind a strong inclination to 
cling to old customs and to old methods in politics as in 
other matters, which in itself is sufficient to prevent the 
accomplishment of any great change at once. This 
conservative spirit was very powerful in New Bruns- 
wick, and there were large classes of people within 
the Province to whom all changes were objectionable, 


because they had a strong interest in permitting matters 
to remain as they were. Under these circumstances, and 
considering that these people had the ear of the Colonial 
office, we need not be so much surprised that the changes 
were resisted so long, as that they were at length accom- 
plished. The British Government, naturally conservative 
in its views, and paying but little heed to the Colonies, 
notwithstanding the lessons furnished by the revolution 
which separated the thirteen colonies from the mother 
country, was not disposed to proceed fast in the work of 
reform when so large a class in the colonies were so 
firmly opposed to all reform. Thus the Liberals who 
sought to bring about a better state of affairs were on 
every side surrounded with difficulties, and their work 
could never have been accomplished successfully had it 
not been that the other Colonies of the British empire 
were at the same time struggling for similar changes, 
and pressing upon the British government those reforms 
in the Colonial system which were necessary to make 
the Provincial Governments popular and efficient. Hav- 
ing thus cleared the ground for the main feature of the 
story, and explained the condition of the Province at the 
time of his entrance into public life, the hour has come 
in which to bring the man himself upon the stage, and 
hereafter the story of political progress in this Province 
will be the story of Mr. Tilley's own life. 



In the United States, and particularly in the New 
England States, the fact that a man's ancestors came over 
in the " Mayflower " is regarded as almost as clear a 
proof of good family as in England the legend that the 
head of a family came over with William the Conqueror. 
To have been descended from one of the earliest English 
settlers of this continent is certainly a distinction, and at 
all events stamps the wearer of it as being an American 
to the fullest extent, and one " to the manner born." This 
distinction Sir Leonard Tilley enjoys, for among those 
who came over in the "Mayflower " in 1620, and landed 
at Plymouth, were two brothers, Edward and John Tilley. 
History does not preserve any very full record of these 
two persons, because they both died at an early period in 
the settlement of the Colony. But there is no doubt that 
Sir Leonard Tilley is a lineal descendant of John Tilley, 
who came over in company with Winslow, Brewster and 
Miles Standish two hundred and seventy-three years ago. 
The origin of the Tilley family is probably to be found in 
France or Germany, there having been several eminent 


persons of that name on the continent of Europe. This, 
however, is a matter which I leave to the antiquarian, 
and which does not greatly concern the present history. 
The great grandfather of Sir Leonard Tilley was Samuel 
Tilley, who was a farmer on Long Island at the time of 
the Revolutionary war. His farm was then within the 
boundaries of the present city of Brooklyn, and the curi- 
ous in such matters can find the very lot upon which he 
resided laid down upon some of the ancient maps of that 
locality. At the time the British occupied Long Island, 
after the battle which took place there in the autumn of 
1776 and the defeat of the Americans, the Brooklyn 
farmers were called upon to provide cattle for the susten- 
ence of the troops. Samuel Tilley, being a loyal man and 
a friend of the government complied, and for this he was 
made the subject of an attack by the disloyal element 
among his neighbors, and in the course of time was 
compelled to seek shelter within the British lines. The 
occupation of Long Island by the British during the whole 
period of the war made it secure enough for Samuel 
Tilley, as. well as for loyal men who lived in the vicinity 
of Brooklyn, but when the war was over it became 
necessary for him to seek shelter in Nova Scotia, the acts 
of confiscation and banishment against the Loyalists being 
of the most severe character. Samuel Tilley came to 
this Province in the spring fleet, which arrived in St. 
John in May, 1783, and was a grantee of Parrtown. He 
erected a house and store on King street, on the south 
side, just to the east of Germain, on the lot now occupied 


by the store of George Eobertson & Co., and there com- 
menced a business which he continued for several years. 
He died at St. John in the year 1815. His wife was 
Elizabeth Morgan, who survived him for many years and 
died in the North end in 1835, aged eighty-four years. 
Sir Leonard Tilley was not born when his great grand- 
father died, but has a clear recollection of his great 
grandmother, who lived for about four years after he came 
to reside at St. John. James Tilley, the grandfather 
of Sir Leonard, was also a grantee of Parrtown, he having 
purchased for a trifling sum when a boy a lot on Princess 
street, which had been drawn by some person who was 
anxious to dispose of it. This lot, after lying uncared 
for and unthought of for a great many years, was finally 
sold to the late Charles Patton for the sum of $400, and 
the house in which he died, erected after the great fire, is 
built upon it. James Tilley was a resident of Sunbury 
County and a magistrate there for a great many years, 
dying in the year 1851. 

Sir Leonard Tilley's father, Thomas Morgan Tilley, was 
born in 1790, and served his time with Israel Gove, who 
was a house joiner and builder. He spent his early days 
as a lumberman getting out ship timber, his operations 
being carried on mainly at Tautiwanty, in the rear of 
Upper Gagetown. He afterwards went into business at 
Gagetown and kept a store there up to the time of his 
death, which took place in 1870. Sir Leonard's grand- 
mother, on his father's side, was Mary Chase, of the 
Chase family of Massachusetts, she having come from 


Freetown, in that state. Sir Leonard's mother was Susan 
Ann Peters, daughter of William Peters, who was for 
many years a prominent farmer in Queens County, and 
a member of the Legislative Assembly. William Peters 
owned a large property and had one of the finest tracts 
of land possessed by any man in the Province in his day. 
But he was unwise enough to sell it for the purpose of 
obtaining money with which to enter into lumbering with 
William Wilmot, the father of the late Governor Wilmot, 
and being unsuccessful in his operations, his whole 
fortune was swept away. The ancestors of William 
Peters were from New York state, from which they came 
with the rest of the Loyalists in 1783. The future 
Finance Minister of Canada and Governor of New 
Brunswick was born at Gagetown in May, 1818, in the 
house to which his father had removed after his marriage 
to Susan Ann Peters in 1817. This house is now 
Simpson's Hotel. It was originally built by a Dr. 
Stickles, a German who settled in Gagetown soon after 
the Loyalist immigration, and who resided in it for some 
years. It was purchased from Dr. Stickles by Samuel 
Tilley, the great grandfather of Sir Leonard, and sold by 
him to his father, Thomas Morgan Tilley, together with 
the three acres of land attached to it. Gagetown was 
at that period and still is, one of the most beautiful coun- 
try places in New Brunswick, for the river St. John flows 
in front of it and Gagetown Creek, which is almost as 
wide as the river, laves its shores. The laud in the 
vicinity is fertile and productive, and fine old trees line 


the streets, giving an air of beauty and refinement to the 
locality. Not many facts in connection with Sir Leonard 
Tilley's infancy are preserved, nor would they be of much 
interest to the reader of a political biography^ It is 
proper, however, to mention that he was named after 
his uncle, Samuel Leonard Peters, and that the latter was 
named after an English school master named Samuel 
Leonard, who was a great favorite with William Peters, 
the grandfather of the subject of this biography. Samuel 
Leonard, after leaving Gagetown, appears to have removed 
to Nova Scotia, and probably died in that Province. 
When Sir Leonard was five years old he commenced 
going to the Madras school in Gagetown, of which Samuel 
Babbitt was teacher. He attended this school from 1823 
until 1827, when the Grammar school was started in 
Gagetown. The Madras school system was at that time 
in high favor with the people of the Province, and these 
schools received large grants from the government, it 
being thought that this system was more advantageous 
than any other for the instruction of youth. This 
idea, however, did not prove to be universally correct, for 
in the course of a few years we find the Legislature 
declaring that while they believed the Madras system 
suitable to towns and populous places, it did not answer 
so well in rural districts. Samuel Babbitt, the teacher 
of the Madras school, was an uncle of Samuel Babbitt, 
who was afterwards cashier of the Peoples Bank, and 
whom many of our citizens remember. Samuel Babbitt, 
the elder, was Clerk of the Parish, and according to the 


Custom of that day, led the responses in church. The 
rector of Gagetown at this period was Rev. Samuel Clark. 
The teacher of the Grammar school to \vhich Sir Leonard 
Tilley went from 1827 to 1831 was William Jenkins, a 
graduate of Dublin University. He was an uncle of 
Dr. Hea, who was for a short period president of the 
University of New Brunswick. Jenkins was a very 
severe man, and believed in the doctrine that he who 
spares the rod spoils the child, and Sir Leonard has a 
very vivid recollection of the vigor with which he applied 
the birch. He removed from Gagetown shortly after the 
year 1831, and took up his residence in Quebec, where 
he conducted a large school for many years, dying about 
the year 1863. Sir Leonard, after he had become a well 
known political character and a member of the govern- 
ment of New Brunswick, had the pleasure of paying him 
a visit some time in the year 1858. Among the boys 
who were with young Tilley at the Grammar school were 
Dr. George Peters, H. S. Peters, Edward Peters and Dr. 
Murray Peters, sons of the then Attorney General of this 
Province ; the Rev. James Disbrow and Robert Disbrow, 
sons of Noah Disbrow ; Dr. Harry Peters, son of the late 
Hon. Harry Peters ; also Richard and Nelson DeVeber, 
sons of L. H. DeVeber and Gabriel DeVeber, son of the 
late Sheriff DeVeber. There were also Robertson Bayard, 
LeBaron Drury, Thomas Hanford, Rev. H. Jar vis and 
Gustavus Jarvis. All these mentioned above are now 
dead. Among the living persons who went to Gagetown 
Grammar school at that time were Henry, Thomas and 


. James Gilbert, sons of Henry Gilbert, Dr. William Bay- 
ard, of this city, and John Emery Doe, of Portland, Maine 
who is now about eighty years of age, and who was then 
the oldest boy in the school. An interesting incident 
occurred in 1827, at the time young Tilley commenced to 
attend the Grammar school. Sir Howard Douglas, who 
was then Governor of New Brunswick, paid a visit to 
Gagetown, and was the guest of Colonel Harry Peters 
then the Speaker of the House of Assembly. While the 
Governor and his host weve walking through Gagetown 
they met young Tilley and a son of Harry Peters return- 
ing from school, and the boys were introduced to His 
Excellency, who presented each of them with a Spanish 
quarter dollar. Sir Leonard can still remember as well 
as if it had taken place yesterday the appearance of Sir 
Howard Douglas, dressed in a blue coat and brass buttons, 
a fine, erect looking gentleman, with a pleasant face and 
a kindly sm'ile. Little thought the then Governor of New 
Brunswick that the boy to whom he was speaking, a lad 
of nine years of age, would fifty years later, sit in his 
own chair in the Government House. 

Young Tilley was not one of those home staying youths 
who was likely to be satisfied to reside all his life in 
Gagetown. Other boys of less ambition might be content 
to settle down on the farm and to fulfil their destinies 
within the comparatively limited sphere of action which 
that little town in Queens County afforded, but Samuel 
Leonard Tilley had within him longings for a higher 
destiny, and a desire to reach more elevated heights than 


he was likely to attain as a mere resident of a rural 
district. In those days ambitious boys went early as 
apprentices to the line of business which they had elected 
to follow. This was a necessity because the years of 
apprenticeship were long. Full fledged journeymen were 
not manufactured in those days in three or four years, 
but it took seven years at least to give a boy a trade, and 
to make him a free man, competent to stand with his 
fellows in the line of industry which he had chosen. 

Young Tilley came to St. John in May, 1831, he then 
having reached the age of thirteen. He at once entered 
as a clerk in the drug store of the late Dr. Henry Cook, 
it being the fashion of those times for medical men to 
have a drug store in connection with their professional 
practice, so that they could give advice, prescribe and 
dispense medicines with equal facility. At that period 
St. John was a very different town from what it is at the 
present day, and although some people are disposed to 
regret the old days, it is quite certain that if we could 
have the St. John of 1831 restored to us we should be 
very ill-content to reside in it, or to put up with the 
inconveniences which a residence in it involved. 

We have a contemporary account of St. John, written 
by a stranger, a British officer, who visited it in 1832. 
He reached this city by way of River DuLoup, Grand 
Falls and Fredericton, and he describes, in a book which 
he published giving an account of his travels, the position 
and prospects of the city very intelligently and clearly. 


The town, containing nearly 11,000 inhabitants, is built upon 
a rocky and irregular promontory, formed by the harbour and 
the river which here empties itself into the Bay of Fuiidy. The 
principal streets are broad, well paved, and neatly laid out, with 
excellent private dwellings, and some elegant stone public edifices. 
The corporation in a most spirited manner are laying out large 
sums of money in beautifying and levelling the streets, though 
much to the inconvenience of private individuals, whose houses 
at the bottom of some hills have been blocked up by these im- 
provements to the attic windows, so that a passer by may peep 
into the first or second story. On the summit of the hill again 
30 feet of solid rock have been cut away, leaving the dwellings 
perched 011 high, and allowing the occupants a view of little else 
save sky and the occasional roof of a lofty house. The barracks, 
a fine extensive range of buildings, with some small batteries 
overlooking the sea and commanding the entrance to the har- 
bour, occupy an elevated and pleasant situation in front of the 
town, whence in clear weather the opposite coast of Nova Scotia 
can be seen across the Bay of Fundy. 

Everything about St. John presented the air of a flourishing 
place, and numerous vessels were upon the stocks in the upper 
part of the bay, where the tide rises to the height of 30 feet. In 
point of commercial importance it is the capital of New Bruns- 
wick, and upwards of 400 square rigged vessels enter the port 
annually, exporting more than 100,000 tons of square timber. 

Young Tilley continued as a clerk with Dr. Cook until 
February, 1835, when he entered the service of the late 
W. 0. Smith, who, from 1857 to 1860, was Mayor of 

this city. Mr. Smith, at that time, had his drug store on 
the north side of Market Square, at the corner of Prince 
William street, a locality which is still dedicated to the 
same use, although now in different hands. It was while 

I a clerk with William 0. Smith that Tilley became a 


member of the St. John Young Men's Debating Society, 
an organization which, if it has no other claim to the 


remembrance of posterity, at least has the merit of 
giving one distinguished statesman to British America, 
and a Governor to this Province. It was in this society 
that young Tilley made his first attempt at public 
speaking, and it may be said that from the very 
beginning he showed a remarkable aptitude for debate 
and public discussions. The surviving members 
of the Society besides Sir. S. L. Tilley, are James H. 
Delancey and Kobert Smith. The late Sheriff, James A. 
Harding, and Joseph W. Lawrence also belonged to it, so 
that it will be seen that at least three of the members of 
the society entered public life. 

In December, 1837, our future Governor took one of 
the most important steps of his life by espousing the 
cause of total abstinence. Having taken up this move- 
ment he threw his whole energy into it, and from that 
time down to the present he has "been a consistent tem- 
perance man, and a strong advocate of the principle of 
total abstinence. It was, perhaps, this strong advocacy 
of the cause of temperance more than any other reason 
that brought him before the public as a suitable person 
to become a candidate for the House of Assembly, and 
led to his first election as a representative for the city of 
St. John in the Local Legislature thirteen years later. 
Certainly the fact that Mr. Tilley, from that time until 
the close of his public career, had always the support of 
the temperance bodies, gave him a strength which he 


hardly would have obtained otherwise, and rallied 
around him a phalanx of friends, who for fidelity to his 
interests and zeal for his political advancement, could 
hardly have been surpassed. 

Mr. Tilley commenced business on his own account in 
1838, before he had attained the a^e of twenty years, as 
a member of the firm of Peters & Tilley, and he continued 
a successful business career until 1855, when he trans- 
ferred his business to Mr. T. B. Barker, senior member of 
the present firm of T. B. Barker & Sons. It is unneces- 
sary to say anything more in regard to Mr. Tilley's career 
as a business man, further than that it was a highly 
prosperous one. Mr. Tilley showed so much energy and 
enterprise in business matters that when he entered 
political life he was comparatively wealthy. There is no 
doubt that if he had continued in business instead of 
devoting his energies to the services of the Province and 
Dominion, he would have made far more money than he 
has done as a politician. I have the authority of Mr. 
Tilley for stating that his private means have npt been 
increased by his political career, and that any wealth he 
possesses at present is the result of his success in business 
early in life, and the accumulations from his private 

At a meeting of the electors of the city of St. John in 
favor of protection, which was held at the office of Bar- 
zilla Ansley previous to the general election of 1850, Mr. 
Tilley was nominated as one of the candidates for the city 
of St. John. He was not present at-the meeting and had 


no knowledge whatever of the intention of the electors to 
make such a nomination. A meeting of the electors was 
called a few nights later in Carleton to confirm the nom- 
ination made at Mr. Ansley's office, and at that meeting 
Mr. Tilley was present. He then made the strongest 
possible protest against the nomination, but the electors 
present would not take no for an answer, and he eventu- 
ally consented to stand as a candidate, informing them at 
the same time that he had an engagement to be in Boston 
on the day fixed for the nomination, and could not there- 
fore be at the hustings on that day. Notwithstanding 
this statement they still persisted in his nomination, and, 
as Mr. Tilley was absent in the United States, his nom- 
ination speech on that occasion was made by Mr. Joseph 
W. Lawrence, who was afterwards found among his 
strongest opponents. At the general election of 1850 all 
of the candidates elected for the City and County and for 
the City of St. John were avowed opponents of the 
Government. The constituency of St. John did not con- 
tain so many voters at that time as it does at present. 
Mr. Tilley, who was at the head of the poll, received on 
that occasion 943 votes, while Mr. W. H. Needham, who 
came next and who was likewise elected, had 752 votes. 
Mr. Ansley, who was defeated, received 724 votes, and 
Mr. Isaac Woodward, 336. The members elected for the 
County were E. 1). Wilmot, William J. Eitchie, John H. 
Gray and Charles Simonds ; while J. E. Partelow, Charles 
Watters and John Jordan were the three defeated candi- 
dates. The list of candidates for the City and County of 


St. John included two future Governors, a future Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and two other 
Judges, to say nothing of the ex-Provincial Secretary, 
Mr. Partelow, a Speaker of the House of Assembly and 
a future Mayor of St. John. It must be admitted that 
few elections that have ever been held in any part of 
P>ritish North America have had so many candidates 
presented to the electors who were afterwards eminent in 
public life. 

Of the forty-one members of the House of Assembly 
elected in 1850 only one, Sir Leonard Tilley, is now liv- 
ing. He was elected at an important epoch in the history 
of the Province, when the old order was passing away and 
men's minds were prepared for the great change that was 
to take place in the political aspect of affairs. It was a 
reform House of Assembly, and although all the members 
elected for the purpose of upholding reform principles did 
not prove true to their trust, still it contained a larger 
number of men of Liberal views than any of its 

Among the members of this House were several who 
had taken a very important part in public affairs, or who 
afterwards became members of the Executive. The 
County of York sent among its representatives Lemuel 
A. Wilmot, who had been a member of the House for 
twenty-five years, and who had taken a leading part in 
many measures of importance for the improvement of the 
system by which the country was governed. Mr. Wilmot 
was a man of tall and commanding presence, a natural 


orator with a fine flow of language and abundance of 
action. As a stump speaker he could hardly be surpassed, 
and while his mind was not of great force, he was acute 
and well fitted for the work to which he had to apply 
himself. Mr. Wilniot was not a great man because he i 
lacked thoroughness, and also w r as somewhat deficient in 
courage ; but after all deductions have been made, it 
cannot be denied that he performed great services to his 
native Province, and that he was one who is worthy to be 
remembered with honor and respect among her dis- 
tinguished sons. He became a Judge of the Supreme | 
Court of the Province, and was its first native Governor. 

Mr. Charles Fisher, who had been a colleague of Mr. 
Wilmot in the County of York, was defeated at the 
general election, but soon afterwards became a member of 
the House. Mr. Fisher had not the oratorical gifts 
possessed by Mr. "Wilmot, but he was even stronger in 
his Liberal views, and as a constitutional lawyer he had 
no equal, at that time, in the Province. Although his 
manners were somewhat uncouth and his address far from 
polished, Mr. Fisher had strong individuality and a 
singularly clear intellect. His services in the cause of 
Liberalism in New Brunswick can hardly be overesti- 
mated, and these services were rendered at a time when 
to be a Liberal was to be, to a large extent, ostracized by 
the great and powerful, who looked upon any interference 
with their vested rights as little short of treason. 

Mr. Tilley's colleague from St. John city was Mr. 
William H. Needhani, who afterwards represented the 


County of York in the Legislature. Mr. Needham was 
of short and stout figure, and so bald and round that his 
appearance almost involuntarily suggested low comedy ; 
yet he had some remarkable gifts as a speaker and a 
public man, and he might have risen to a much higher 
position than he ever attained had it not been that his 
principles were somewhat uncertain. In truth Mr. 
Needham never succeeded hi getting sufficiently clear of 
the world to be quite independent, and this misfortune 
hampered him greatly in .his political career. 

One of the members from St. John County was 
William J. Ritchie, a lawyer who had risen by his own 
efforts to a commanding position at the bar. Mr. Ritchie 
had been a member of the House of Assembly for several 
years, and always a useful one. He possessed, what few 
members at that time had, a clear knowledge of the true 
principles of Responsible Government. Mr. Ritchie had 
an eminently practical mind ; he was a forcible and 
impressive speaker, and he \vas bold in the enunciation of 
those Liberal principles to which he held. It was a great 
misfortune to the Province that at a comparatively early 
age he was transferred to the Bench, so that his great 
abilities were lost at a critical period when they might 
have been useful to New Brunswick in many ways. 

John H. Gray, a new member, also sat in this House 
for the County of St. John. Mr. Gray was a man of fine 
presence, handsome appearance, and had a style of oratory 
that was very captivating and impressive. His fluency, 
however, was greater than his ability, and he injured 


himself greatly by deserting the Liberal party, which he 
had been elected to uphold. Mr. Gray never quite 
recovered from the unpopularity connected with this 
action, and he never became in any sense a real leader. 
The party he had deserted soon obtained the control of 
the Province, and his final appearance in the Legislature 
was as a supporter of Mr. Tilley, content to play a secon- 
dary part during the great Confederation conflict. 

Robert Duncan Wilmot, another of the St. John County 
members, was not new to the Legislature, and his mind 
being naturally conservative, it is in connexion with the 
Conservative party that he is best known in the history 
of the Province. He was elected as a Liberal, however, 
in 1850, but seemed to have forgotten that fact as soon 
as he reached the House of Assembly. This was not the 
only occasion on which Mr. Wilmot contrived to change 
his principles, for he performed a similar feat during the 
time of Confederation, and left the anti-Confederate Gov- 
ernment in the lurch at a moment when its existence 
almost depended on his fidelity. Mr. Wilmot never was 
an eloquent man and he entertained some highly visionary 
views in regard to an irredeemable paper currency, but 
he was a useful public servant, and he afterwards became 
a member of the government of Canada and eventually 
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. 

Hon. John R. Partelow, who was now defeated in St. 
John but elected for Victoria, and whose name occurs 
frequently in these pages, was a man who might have 
acquired a great political reputation had the stage on 


which he appeared been a larger one. Mr. Partelow's 

qualifications for high public position did not depend upon 
his oratory, which was not of a high order, but upon his 
moderation and good sense. Mr. Partelow was not born 
in high life, his origin was lowly, and his early days were 
spent as a clerk in a store on the North wharf, St. John. 
Even in that humble position, he made himself so useful 
and displayed so much ability that he was marked for 
higher preferment. The idea which resulted in his nom- 
ination as a candidate for the city of St. John seems to 
have originated with his employers, but when he got to 
the Legislature he speedily made his influence felt. Mr. 
Partelow spoke but seldom, but when he did address the 
Legislature it was generally with good effect, and after 
the debate had been to a large extent exhausted by 
previous speakers. He then had a faculty of drafting a 
resolution which seemed to express the general sense of 
all, and which was usually accepted as a solution of the 
matter. Mr. Partelow was a good business man, under- 
stood accounts thoroughly, and therefore had a great 
advantage in legislative work over those who were not so 
well equipped in this respect. New Brunswick may 
have produced greater men than he in public life, but 
none whose talents were more useful to the Province, or 
better fitted to serve its interests at a critical period in 
its constitutional history. 

Shortly after the general election Chief Justice Chip- 
man, who had been in infirm health, resigned his office 
and a vacancy was thus left on the bench of the Supreme 


Court of the Province. In the natural course this office 
ought to have gone to the Attorney General, Mr. L. A. 
Wilmot, but this appointment was not made. The 
responsibility for the result which followed is not very 
easy to fix; certainly if the government had insisted on 
Mr. Wilmot's appointment to the Chief Justiceship it 
must have taken place, but they seem to have been unde- 
cided in opinion, and perhaps were not milling to lose the 
services of Mr. Wilmot in the Government. Instead of ! 
making the appointment, as they had a right to do, they 
commenced a correspondence with the Colonial office, 
which resulted in the receipt of a despatch from Downing 
street, ordering the government to give the Chief Justice- 
ship to Judge Carter and to offer the puisne judgeship to 
Mr. Wilmot, or if he should refuse it, to Mr. Kinnear, 
the Solicitor General. The Executive Council complained 
that the appointment of Mr. Wilmot to a seat on the 
Bench, by the authority of the Secretary of State without 
the advice or recommendation of the responsible executive 
within the Province, was at variance with the principles I 
of Responsible Government which were understood to ; 
be in force. They, however, had only themselves to 
thank for this, for they were continually appealing to 
Downing street, and seemed unable to act without advice 
from that quarter. The government at that time was a 
composite affair, supposed to be a coalition government, 
but the only Liberals in it were Mr. Wilmot and Mr, 
Fisher, so that it was virtually a Tory administration, for 
Mr. Wilmot was now going to the Bench and Mr. Fisher 


was a defeated candidate for York. As a majority of the 
House had been elected as opponents of the Government, 
it was supposed there would be no difficulty in bringing 
about a change of administration. Mr. Simonds, of St. 
John, who was reputed to be a Liberal, was elected 
Speaker without opposition, and at an early day in the 
session Mr. Ritchie, of St. John, moved as an amendment 
to the address a want of confidence resolution. This 
resolution, instead of being carried by a large majority 
as was expected, was lost by a vote of 22 to 15, Messrs. 
Alexander Rankine and John T. Williston of Northumber- 
land, Messrs. Robert Gordon and Joseph Reed of Glouces- 
ter, Mr. A. Barbarie of Restigouche, and Mr. Francis 
McPhelim of Kent, having deserted their Liberal allies 
and sold themselves to the Tory government. Had they 
proved faithful as they were faithless the government 
would have been defeated, and the Province would have 
been spared another three years of an incompetent Tory 

In this division Mr. Tilley and Mr. Needham, who 
represented the City of St. John, voted for Mr. Ritchie's 
amendment, and Messrs. R. D. Wilmot and Gray, two of 
the County members, also voted with Mr. Ritchie, the 
mover of the amendment, on the same side. As Mr. 
Wilmot and Mr. Gray showed by their votes that they 
had no confidence in the government in February, 1851, 
it was with much surprise that the people of St. John, in 
the August following, learned that they had become 
members of the administration which they had so warmly 



condemned a few months before. Their secession from 
the Liberal party destroyed whatever chance had before 
existed of ousting the government. Mr. Fisher seceded 
from the government in consequence of their action in 
reference to the judicial appointments, and Mr. John 
Ambrose Street, who was a member for Northumberland, 
became Attorney General. Mr. Street was a ready 
debater and a strong Conservative, and his entrance into 
the government at that time showed that a Conservative 
policy was to be maintained. 

Mr. Street presented a long programme of measures for 
the consideration of the legislature, none of which proved 
to be of any particular value. The municipal corporations 
bill was passed, but it was a permissive measure, and was 
not taken advantage of by any of the counties. A bill 
to make the Legislative Council elective, which was also 
passed in the lower House at the instance of the govern- 
ment, was defeated in the upper chamber. The bill 
appointing commissioners on law reform was carried and 
resulted in the production of the three volumes of the 
Eevised Statutes, issued in 1854, with which the gentle- 
men of the legal profession are familiar. The most 
important bill of the session, introduced by the govern- 
ment, was one in aid of the construction of a railroad 
from St. John to Shediac. This bill provided that the 
government should give a company 250,000 Sterling, to 
assist in the construction of the line referred to. There 
was also a bill to assist the St. Andrews and Quebec 
Railroad to the extent of 50,000, and a bonus or sub- 


vention to the Shediac line amounting to upwards of 
$11,000 a mile, for which sum a very good railway could 
be constructed at the present time. It may be stated 
here, that although the company was formed and under- 
took to build a railway to Shediac under the terms 
offered by the government, the Province had eventually 
to construct the road at a cost of $40,000 a mile, or fully 
double what a similar road could be constructed for now. 
One of the measures brought forward by the govern- 
ment at this session was with reference to the schools of 
the Province. Mention has already been made of the 
inefficient character of the provincial schools in 1818, and 
they had improved but little at the period when Mr. 
Tilley entered public life. The idea of taxing the property 
of the country, for the support of public schools had not 
then found any general acceptance in this Province ; 
indeed it was not till the year 1872 that the measure 
embodying this principle was passed by the Legislature. 
The government school bill of 1851 provided that the 
teachers were to be paid in money, or board and lodging, 
by the district to the amount of 10 for six months, in 
addition to the government allowance. This bill was 
a very slight improvement on the act then in force, 
and as the government left it to the House to deal with, 
and did not press it as a government measure, it was not 
passed. A private member, Mr. Gilbert, of Queens, at 
this session proposed to convert Kings College into an 
agricultural school, with a model farm in connection. 
Kings College had been established by an act passed in 


1829, and had received a large endowment from the 
Province, but it never was a popular institution, because 
of its connection with a single church. The charter of 
the college made the Bishop of the diocese the Visitor, 
and required the President to be always a clergyman of 
of the Church of England. The number of students who 
attended it was always small, and it was shown, in the 
course of the debate on Mr. Gilbert's bill, that it had 
failed to fulfil the object for which it was created. The 
college council contsisted of fifteen members, of whom ten 
were Episcopalians ; and the Visitor, the Chancellor, the 
President, the Principal, five out of seven of the professors 
and teachers, and the two examiners were members of the 
Church of England. The services in the college chapel 
were required to be attended by all resident students, and 
of the eighteen students then in the college sixteen were 
Episcopalians. It was felt that this college required to 
be placed on a different footing, and Mr. Gilbert's bill, 
although it provoked much comment at the time, certainly 
would have been more beneficial to the educational inter- 
ests of the country, if it had passed, than the state of affairs 
which resulted from the continuance of the old system. 
An agricultural school was the very thing the Province 
required, while, judging from the limited attendance at 
the college from its foundation to the present time, the 
people of this Province are not greatly impressed with the 
value of a classical education. In 1851, however, anyone 
who proposed to replace the college for the teaching of 
Greek and Latin with a college of agriculture, and the 


sciences allied to it, was looked upon as a Philistine. 
Then youths were taught to compose Latin and to read 
Greek who never to the day of their death had a com- 
petent knowledge of their own language ; and agricultural 
studies, which were of the highest importance to more 
than one-half of the people of the Province, were totally 
neglected. Mr. Gilbert's bill was defeated, as it was 
certain to be in a Legislature which was still under the 
domination of old ideas. Had it passed, New Brunswick 
might at this time have had a large body of scientific 
farmers, capable of cultivating the soil in the most 
efficient manner, and increasing its productiveness to an 
extent hardly dreamed of by those who only consider it 
in the light of the present system of cultivation. 

During this session Mr. Eitchie, of St. John, moved 
another series of resolutions condemning the government, 
and complaining of the Colonial office and of the conduct 
of the Governor. These resolutions declared first that 
the House was entitled to full copies of all despatches 
addressed to or received from the Colonial office, and that 
it was not enough merely to send extracts from a despatch 
which had been received by the Governor. They declared 
that the appointments to offices were invested in the 
Governor by and with the advice of the Executive Coun- 
cil, and that the appointment of the Chief Justice and of 
a puisne judge by the Governor, contrary to the advice 
of his Council, was inconsistent with the principles of 
Responsible Government. They complained that the 
salaries were excessive, and condemned the refusal of the 


British Government to allow the Colonies to grant 
bounties for the development of their resources. These 
resolutions, after being debated for about a week, were 
rejected by a vote of 19 to 21, which at the time was 
looked upon as virtually a Liberal victory. If the nine- 
teen had been made up of men who could be relied on to 
stand by their colors, in all emergencies, it would have 
been a Liberal triumph, but unfortunately among the 
nineteen there were some who afterwards basely deserted 
their party for the sake of offices and power. 

Early in August it was announced that John H. Gray 
and E. D. Wilniot, two of the Liberal members for the 
County of St. John, had abandoned their party and their 
principles and become members of the government. The 
people of St. John, who had elected these gentlemen by 
a substantial majority, were naturally chagrined at such 
a proof of their faithlessness, and their colleagues were 
likewise greatly annoyed. Messrs. Gray and Wilmot 
made the usual excuses of all deserters for their conduct, 
the principal one being that they thought they could 
serve the interests of the constituency and of the Province 
better by being in the government than out of it. The 
friends of the four members who still remained faithful, 
Messrs. Tilley, Simonds, Ritchie and Needham, held a 
meeting at which these gentlemen were present, and at 
which it was agreed that they should join in an address 
to their constituents, condemning the course of Messrs. 
Wilmot and Gray, and calling on the constituency to 
pronounce judgment upon it. As Mr. Wilmot, who had 


been appointed to the office of Surveyor General, had to> 
return to his constituency for re-election, the voice of the 
constituency could only be ascertained by placing a candi- 
date in the field in opposition to him. This was done, 
and Allan McLean, Esq., was selected to oppose Mr. 
Wilinot. The result seemed to show that the people of 
St. John had condoned the offence, for Mr. Wilmot was- 
re-elected by a majority of 273. As this appeared to be a 
proof that they had lost the confidence of their constitu- 
ents, Messrs. Simonds, Ritchie and Tilley at once resigned 
their seats. This act was at the time thought by many 
to indicate an excess of sensitiveness, and Mr. jSTeedham 
absolutely refused to follow their example, thereby for- 
feiting the regard of those who had formerly supported 
him. The sequel proved that the three resigning mem- 
bers were right, for they won much more in public respect 
by their conduct than they lost by their temporary 
exclusion from the House of Assembly. 

The gentlemen returned for the three seats in St. John, 
which had been vacated by the resigning members, were 
James A. Harding, John Goddard and John Johnson. 
Mr. Harding, who ran for the City, was opposed by S. K. 
Foster. Mr. Harding was a Liberal, but this fact does 
not seem to have been kept in view when he was elected. 
The net result of the whole affair was that the constituency 
of St. John could not be relied upon to support a Liberal 
principle, or any kind of principle as against men. That 
has always been a peculiarity of the St. John constitu- 
encies, men being more important than measures, and 


frequently a mere transient feeling being set off against 
the most important considerations of policy. 

Mr. Tilley was not in the House of Assembly during 
the sessions of 1852, 1853 and 1854; that period was 
one, however, of development in political matters and of 
substantial progress. The Governor's speech, at the 
opening of the session of 1852, was largely devoted to 
railways, and it expressed the opinion that a railroad 
connecting Canada and Nova Scotia, and a connection 
with a line to the United States would produce an abun- 
dant return to the Province, and that by means of such a 
line millions of tons of timber, then standing worthless in 
the forest, would find a profitable market. It was during 
this session that Messrs, Peto, Brassy and Betts proposed 
to construct the European and North American railroad 
on certain conditions. The subsidies offered by the 
Province at this time were 20,000 a year for twenty 
years, and a million acres of land for the European and 
North American line, as the line to the United States was 
termed ; and for the Quebec line 20,000 Sterling, for 
twenty years and two millions acres of land. A new 
company, which included Mr. Jackson, M. P., offered to 
build the New Brunswick section of both railroads, upon 
the Province granting them a subsidy of 20,000 a year 
for twenty years, and four millions acres of land. Attor- 
ney General Street introduced a series of railway resolu- 
tions favoring the building of the Intercolonial Eailway 
jointly by the three Provinces, according to terms which 
had been agreed upon by the delegates of each. This 


arrangement was that the Intercolonial Eailroad should 
be built through the valley of the St. John, and for 
favoring resolutions in the House confirming this arrange- 
ment, Mr. Street's Northumberland constituency called 
upon him to resign his seat, a step which he refused to 

The government railway resolutions were carried by a 
large majority. During the recess Mr. Chandler, as a 
representative of New Brunswick, and Mr. Hincks, a 
representative of Canada, went to London to endeavor to 
obtain from the British Government a sum sufficient to 
build the Intercolonial Railway. The request of the 
delegates was refused on the ground that such a work had 
to be one of military necessity, and that the route which 
had been selected, by the valley of the St. John, was not 
a proper one for military purposes. The British Govern- 
ment then and for long afterwards, took but little interest 
in Canadian affairs, except to interfere with the distri- 
bution of patronage, and certainly these Provinces cannot 
claim to have received any large amount of favor from 
the British Government, either in sympathy or love, as 
compared with nations alien in blood to the British race, 
for whose sake enormous expenditures have been incurred 
with but little advantage to the British people. As Mr. 
Chandler could not obtain what he wished from the 
British Government, he applied to Messrs. Peto, Brassy 
and Betts, who said they were prepared to build all the 
railroads that New Brunswick might require, upon the 
most advantageous terms. Mr. Jackson visited the 


Province in September of the same year, and it was 
agreed that his company would build a railway from St. 
John to Amherst, and from St. John to the United States 
frontier, the distance being then estimated at 214 miles, 
for the sum of 6,500 Sterling per mile. The Province was 
to take stock to the extent of 1,200 per mile, and to loan 
its bonds to the company for 1,800 additional per mile. 
The completion of this arrangement caused great rejoicing 
in the Province, especially in St. John ; a special session 
of the Legislature being called on the 21st of October for 
the express purpose of amending the Eailway Act so that 
it might conform to the new conditions. As both 
branches of the Legislature were strongly in favor of the 
railway policy of the government the necessary bills were 
speedily passed and the Legislature was prorogued after 
a session of eight days. 

The meeting of the Legislature in 1853 derived its 
principal importance from the fact that much of its time 
was taken up with the discussion on the question of a 
reciprocity treaty with the United States of America. 
The discussion disclosed a strong disinclination on the 
part of many members to any arrangement by which the 
fisheries should be surrendered. The tone of the dis- 
cussions on this subject, both in 1853 and 1854, shows 
that reciprocity with the United States was not generally 
regarded as being an equivalent for the surrender of the 
fisheries to our neighbors, and it is quite clear that so far 
as New Brunswick is concerned, the reciprocity treaty 
would not have been agreed to had it not been that the 


matter was in the hands of the British Government, and 
that the Legislature of this Province was not disposed to 
resist strenuously any arrangement that the British 
Government had made. At that time our Legislature had 
been so much accustomed to defer to the wishes of the 
Colonial office that it was impossible to bring public 
opinion to bear solidly against any British treaty, however 
unfavorable to Colonial interests. No important legislation 
was passed during the session of 1853, but a curious 
illustration of the undeveloped political condition of the 
Province was furnished by the discussion which took 
place in regard to the new election bill brought in by the 
Attorney General. This bill did not provide for vote by 
ballot, which many members of the House desired, and 
when the subject came to be discussed it was found that 
some members. of the government spoke and voted in 
favor of the ballot and others against it. The Executive 
of 1853 did not appear to regard itself as a unit, nor did 
its members consider it necessary that they should be in 
accord with each other. 

The session of 1854 was the last in which the old order 
of things controlled the Legislature. The people of New 
Brunswick had been a long time in emancipating them- 
selves from the control of the British Government and 
the Colonial office, because they were not united, there 
always being a large element in the Province interested 
in the continuance of the old order of things. Neverthe- 
less the time had come when men with family influence 
and loud professions of loyalty could no longer exclusively 


control affairs in the Province. New men were coming 
upon the political stage and bringing with them new 
ideas and new influences. It was felt that hereafter New 
Brunswick must be governed for the benefit of its people 
generally, and not merely of a few favored individuals. 
It was also felt that it was impossible that the Province 
could longer endure to be treated like a spoiled child, and 
its members harangued and lectured by some second-rate 
placeman, who had succeeded in obtaining the Governor- 
ship. When it is remembered that Colonial Governors 
were looked upon by the British people as almost an 
inferior set of beings, the political wrecks of the time, 
it is astonishing with what readiness our people were 
willing to accept their advice, and to regard it with 
almost as much awe as if it had been a mandate from the 
Most High. Sir Edmund Head, who seems to have been 
a person utterly unsuited to govern a Colony, had the 
assurance to forward a despatch to the Colonial Secretary 
in 1853, in which he denounced all the legislative 
methods then in existence in the Provinces, and reproved 
the gentlemen who were by courtesy regarded as his 
official advisers for their neglect of duty. It is quite 
possible that the remarks of the Governor were true 
enough, but there was a gross impropriety in him com- 
municating with the Colonial office in secret, to the 
detriment of the Executive, for the purpose of weakening 
the influence of the very men that he had called to his 
Council, and in whom he professed to have perfect 


The House, which had been elected in 1850, was dis- 
solved shortly after the prorogation, and the election came 
on in the month of July. It was a memorable occasion 
because it was certain that the topics discussed by the 
House then to be elected would be of the very highest 
importance. One of these subjects was the reciprocity 
treaty, which at that time had been arranged with the 
United States through the British Government. This 
treaty provided for the free interchange of certain natural 
products between the great republic and the several 
Provinces which now form the Dominion of Canada, and 
it had been brought about through the efforts of Lord 
Elgin, who at that time was Her Majesty's representative 
in the United States. The treaty was agreed on the 5th 
of June, and was subject to ratification by the Imperial 
Parliament and the Legislatures of these British North 
American Colonies which were affected by it. In the 
St. John constituencies there was at that time a strong 
feeling in favor of the protection policy, but this did not 
interfere with the desire to effect the interchange of raw 
material with the United States on advantageous terms. 
Mr. Tilley had been originally nominated as a protec- 
tionist, and still held views favorable to the encourage- 
ment and protection of native industries by means of the 
tariff, but he was also favorable to reciprocity with the 
United States, if it could be obtained in such a manner 
as to be beneficial to this Province. At the general 
election he led the poll in the City of St. John, his 
colleague being the late James A. Harding, for many 


years High Sheriff of the County, who had been elected 
at a bye-election to the previous House. For the County 
Mr. William J. Eitchie was one of the successful candi- 
dates and the only Liberal returned for that constituency. 
The other members for the County were the Hon. John 
E. Partelow, Eobert 1). Wiluiot and John H. Gray. 

The new House was called together on the 19th of 
October, for the purpose of ratifying the reciprocity 
treaty, and Hon. I). L. Hannington was elected Speaker 
by a vote of 23 to 13. This gave the Opposition an 
earlier opportunity of defeating the Street-Partelow 
administration than would under ordinary circumstances 
have been possible. The amendment to the address was 
moved by the Hon. Charles Fisher, and was an indictment 
of the government for their various shortcomings and 
offences. The amendment was to expunge the whole of 
the fifth paragraph and substitute for it the following : 
" It is with feelings of loyalty and attachment to Her 
Majesty's person and government that we recognize in 
that provision of the treaty which requires the concur- 
rence of this Legislature, a distinct avowal by the Imperial 
Government of their determination to preserve inviolate 
the principles of self government, and to regard the 
constitution of the Province as sacred as that of the 
parent state. We regret that the conduct of the admin- 
istration, during the last few years, has not been in 
accordance with these principles, and we feel constrained 
thus early to state to your Excellency that your constitu- 
tional advisers have not conducted the government of the 


Province in the true spirit of our Colonial constitution." 

This amendment was offered on the 23rd of October, 
and debated on the 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. On 
the latter of these days the vote was taken and the 
amendment was carried by the following vote : 

Yeas Charles Fisher, William J. Ritchie, Albert J. 
Smith, James A. Harding, John M. Johnston, Abner R. 
McClelau, James Steadman, P. McNaughton, William 
End, Charles MacPherson, George L. Hatheway, Charles 
Connell, S. L. Tilley, A. H. Gillmor, John McAdam, 
James Brown, Francis McPhelim, R. B. Cutler, R. Sutton, 
C. Botsford, John Farris, R. English, J. Tibbits, A. Lan- 
dry, G. Ryan, E. Lunt and E. Stevens. 

Nays Hon. Street, Partelow, Montgomery, Wilmot, 
Gray, Hay ward, and James Boyd, F. Rice, J. Taylor, H. 
W. Purdy, M. McLeod, S. H. Gilbert. 

The general ground of accusation against the govern- 
ment, and the one most strongly insisted upon, was that 
it had yielded to the influence of the Colonial office in 
the appointment of Judge Wilmot. It was well known 
that the government at that time did not consider it 
necessary to appoint another judge ; at all events they 
took no steps to bring about another appointment ; but 
they yielded to the Colonial office, and the pressure put 
upon them by Sir Edmund Head, the Lieutenant Gover- 
nor, so far as to acquiesce in the appointment of Judge 
Carter as Chief Justice, and the elevation of Mr. Wilmot 
to the Bench. This was a fair ground of attack, because 
it was clear that if the Executive Council of New Bruns- 


wick was under the orders of the home government, 
representative institutions and Responsible Government 
in this Province did not exist. A strange thing happened 
in connection with this vote, one which, perhaps, has 
never been paralleled in any Legislature. The mover of 
the address was James Brown, a member from the County 
of Charlotte, and the seconder was Enoch Lunt, who was 
one of the members from the County of Sunbury ; yet 
when the vote was taken on Mr. Fisher's amendment, 
both Mr. Brown and Mr. Lunt voted for it, thus assisting 
to defeat the government, which, it was to be presumed by 
their moving and seconding the address, they were willing 
to support. This incident alone illustrates the state of 
political infancy in which the people of 1854 in this 
Province still were. For Mr. Brown, who was an honest 
man, said that he did not know when he was moving the 
address that there was any politics in it, and he thought 
he must vote for the motion affirming the right of New 
Brunswick to make its own appointments. 

Thus the Street-Partelow government fell, and with it 
disappeared at once and forever the old Conservative 
regime which had existed in the Province from its 
foundation, and which had hindered and stifled the de- 
velopment of our free institutions, and deprived the 
people of New Brunswick of the best fruits of representa- 
tive government. It was a great triumph for the cause 
of Liberalism that the Conservatives of that period were 
not only defeated, but swept altogether out of existence. 
After that a government of men who called themselves 


Conservatives might go into power, but the old state of 
affairs under which the Lieutenant Governor could exer- 
cise despotic powers had departed forever, and could no 
more be revived than the heptarchy could be galvanized 
into life. All that a Conservative government could do 
after that was to fall into line with the policy they had 
displaced and proceed ; less rapidly perhaps, but none the 
less surely along the path of political progress. 

The new government which was formed as the result 
of this vote had for its Premier the Hon. Charles Fisher, 
who took the office of Attorney General ; Mr. Tilley be- 
came Provincial Secretary ; Mr. James Brown, a few 
weeks later, received the office of Surveyor General ; J. 
M. Johnston, one of the members for Northumberland, 
became Solicitor General, and William J. Ritchie, Albert 
J. Smith and William H. Steeves were members of the 
government without offices. 

On the 1st of November writs were ordered to be 
issued for a new election to fill the vacancy caused by 
the acceptance of office by Messrs. Tilley, Fisher and 
Johnston. The bill to give effect to the reciprocity 
treaty passed its third reading on the 2nd of November, 
only Ryan, Purdy, Gilbert, McPhelim and Cutler voting 
against it. On motion of the Hon. Mr. Ritchie, one of 
the members of the new government, it was resolved that 
it was desirable and expedient that the Surveyor General, 
who was a political officer, should hold a seat in the 
House of Assembly, and that the government should 
carry out the wishes of the House in this respect. Before 


the House again met the wishes of the House had been 
complied with and Mr. Brown, of Charlotte, became Sur- 
veyor General. 

The House met again on the 1st of February, 1855, 
and then the real reform of the legislation of the govern- 
ment began. In the speech from the throne it was stated 
that the Customs Act would expire in the course of a 
year, and that it was necessary that a new act should be 
passed. A better system of auditing the public accounts 
was also recommended, and a better system of electing 
members to the Legislature. On the 5th of March cor- 
respondence was brought down, dated the 15th of August 
previous, announcing on the part of the Imperial Govern- 
ment the withdrawal of the Imperial Customs establish- 
ment, which was considered to be no longer necessary, 
and stating that as the duties of these offices were now 
mainly in connection with the registration of vessels in 
the Colonies, and the granting of certificates of the origin 
of Colonial products, this work would hereafter be per- 
formed by the Colonial officers. A letter addressed to the 
comptrollers and other Customs officers, had informed 
them that their services would be discontinued after the 
5th of January, 1855. So disappeared the last remnant 
of the old Imperial Custom House system, which had 
been the cause of so many difficulties in all the Colonies, 
which was the real occasion of the revolution which 
separated the thirteen Colonies from the mother country, 
and which in the other American colonies which were left 
to England, had always been regarded as a grievance. 


The new government resolved to make Responsible 
Government a reality, and to at once bring about a con- 
dition of affairs which would end the waste and extra- 
vagance which had prevailed under the old system of 
appropriation. One of their first measures was to vest in 
themselves the initiation of all money grants, so that no 
private member hereafter could move the appropriation of 
money for public purposes, except by the consent or 
through the action of the government. This was a 
change which had long been demanded but had been 
steadily resisted by private members, because their 
self interest was concerned in the old order of things. It 
has already been explained how under the old system 
" log rolling " prevailed, one man voting for an appropria- 
tion in some distant county of the, merits of which he 
knew nothing, on condition that the member from that 
county would vote for an appropriation which he desired 
to have, although it might not be at all in the general 
interest. The government also undertook to frame a new 
tariff, and therefore about in a double sense to grasp the 
control of the finances of the Province, 



The great measure of the session of 1855 was the law 
to prevent the importation, manufacture, or selling of 
liquor. This bill was brought in by Mr. Tilley as a 
private member, and not on behalf of the government. 
It was introduced on the 3rd of March. Considering its 
great importance and the fact that it led to a crisis in the 
affairs of the government and the temporary defeat of the 
Liberal party, this measure went through the House with 
comparatively little difficulty. It was first considered on 
the 19th of March, and a motion to postpone its further 
consideration for three months was lost by a vote of 17 
to 21. Amongst those who voted for the postponement 
were Messrs. Ritchie, Gray and Harding of St. John, 
Mr. Smith of Westmorland, and Mr. Johnston of North- 
umberland. The final division of the third reading was 
taken on the 27th of March, and the vote was 21 to 18, 
so that every member of the House, with one exception, 
voted yea or nay. The closeness of this last division 
should have warned the advocates of the measure that it 
was likely to produce difficulty, for it is clear that all 


sumptuary laws which are intended to regulate human 
affairs must be ineffectual unless they have the support 
. of a large majority of the people affected by them. That 
this was not the case with the prohibition liquor law was 
shown by the vote iu the Legislature, and it was still more 
clearly shown after the law came into operation on the 
1st of January, 1856. 

The passage of the prohibitory law was a bold experi- 
inent, and as the sequel showed, more bold than wise. 
The temperance movement in New Brunswick at that 
time was hardly more than twenty years old, and New 
Brunswick had always been a Province in which the 
consumption of liquor was large in proportion to its popu- 
lation. When it was first settled by the Loyalists, and 
for many years afterwards, the use of liquor was con- 
sidered necessary to happiness, if not to actual existence. 
Every person consumed spirits, which generally came to 
the Province in the form of Jamaica rum from the West 
Indies, and as this rum was supposed to be an infallible 
cure for nearly every ill that flesh is heir to, nothing could 
be done at that time without its use. Large quantities 
of rum were taken into the woods for the lumbermen to 
give them sufficient strength to perform the laborious 
work in which they ' were engaged, and if it had been 
suggested that a time would come when the same work 
would be done without any more powerful stimulant than 
tea, the person who ventured to make such a suggestion 
would have been regarded as absolutely insane. Experi- 
ence has shown them that more and better work can be 


done, not only in the woods, but everywhere else, without 
the use of stimulants than with them ; but no one could 
be got to believe this fifty or sixty years ago. Every . 
kind of work connected with the farm then had to be 
performed by the aid of liquor. Every house raising, 
every ploughing match, every meeting at which farmers 
congregated, had unlimited quantities of rum as one of its 
leading features. It was also used by almost every man as 
a part of his regular diet ; the old stagers had their eleven 
o'clock and their nip before dinner ; their regular series 
of drinks in the afternoon and evening, and they actually 
believed that without them life would not be worth living. 
Some idea of the extent of the spirit drinking of the 
Province may be gathered from the fact that in 1838, 
when the population did not exceed 120,000, 312,298 
gallons of rum, gin and whiskey, and 64,579 gallons of 
brandy were consumed in New Brunswick. Spirits, 
especially rum, was very cheap, and the duty being only 
thirty cents a gallon, everyone could afford to drink it if 
disposed to do so. 

In 1855, it must be remembered also, that some of the 
original Loyalists, who had gone to New Brunswick in 
1783 were still living, and that the men and women of 
the second generation were numerous. These people had 
been brought up under the conditions described as to the 
use of liquor, and had not been educated out of the views 
which they had imbibed in their youth. That is why the 
prohibition experiment made in 1856 was so much open 
to the charge of being a rash one. Man cannot be edu- 


cated into a new state of ideas in a single day and hardly 
in a single generation. When the total abstinence move- 
ment commenced in New Brunswick, those who advocated 
it were looked upon as mere fanatics, and even when it 
had obtained a sufficient amount of political strength to 
influence the Legislature, the great bulk of the people 
regarded it with unfavorable eyes, and were ready to 
resist any attempt to apply such principles to themselves. 
I remember as a boy the hour and the day when prohi- 
bition went into effect in New Brunswick, and I took 
note of the time that the change came. It was at mid- 
night on the 31st of December, 1855, when the bells rang 
out a merry peal to announce the advent of the new year, 
that this law went in force. The placing of it in opera- 
tion meant little less than a revolution in the views, 
feelings and ideas of the people of the Province, and to a 
large extent in their business relations. The liquor trade, 
both wholesale and retail, employed large numbers of 
men, and occupied many buildings, which brought in 
large rents to their owners. The number of taverns in 
St. John and Portland was not less than two hundred, 
and every one of these establishments had to be closed. 
There were probably at least twenty men who sold liquor 
at wholesale, and who extended their business to every 
section of the Province, as well as all parts of Nova 
Scotia, and their operations also had to come to an end. 
It was not to be supposed that these people would con- 
sent to be deprived suddenly of their means of living, 
especially in view of the fact that it was by no means 


certain that the sentiment in favor of prohibition was as 
strong in the country as it appeared to be in the Legis- 
lature. It has always been understood that many men 
voted for prohibition in the House of Assembly who 
themselves were not total abstainers, but who thought 
they might make political capital by taking that course, 
and who relied on the Legislative Council to throw out 
the bill. No men were more disgusted and disappointed 
than they when the Council passed the bill. 

The result of the attempt to enforce prohibition was 
what might have been expected. The law was resisted, 
liquor continued to be sold, and when attempts were made 
to prevent the violation of the law, and the violators of 
the law were brought before the courts, able lawyers 
were employed to defend them, while the sale of liquor 
by the same parties was continued, thus setting the law 
at defiance. This state of confusion and conflict lasted 
for several months, but it is unnecessary to go into 
details. In the city of St. John especially the conflict 
became bitter to the last degree, and it was evident that 
however admirable prohibition might be of itself the 
people of the city were not then prepared to accept it. 
At this juncture came the astounding news that the 
Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. H. T. Manners-Sutton, 
had dissolved the House of Assembly without the advice 
of his Council. This Governor, who had been appointed 
the year previous, was a member of an old Conservative 
family, one of whom was Speaker of the British House 
of Commons for a great many years. The traditions of 


this family were all opposed to such a radical measure 
as the prohibitory law, and therefore it was not to be 
expected that Manners-Sutton, who used liquor at his 
own table, and who considered that its use was proper and 
necessary, would be favorable to the law. But even if 
he had been disposed to favor it originally, or to regard it 
without prejudice, the confusion which it caused in the 
Province, when the attempt was made to enforce it, would 
naturally incline him to look upon it as an evil. At all 
events he came to the conclusion that the people should 
have another opportunity of pronouncing upon it, and as 
the result of this view of the situation, resolved to dissolve 
the Legislature which had only been elected little more 
than a year, and had still three years to run. 

The election, which followed in July, 1856, was per- 
haps the most hotly contested that has ever taken place 
in the Province. In St. John especially the conflict was 
fierce and bitter, because it was in this city that the 
liquor interest was strongest and most influential. All 
over the Province, however, the people became interested 
in the struggle as they had not been in any previous 
campaign. To the Liberals and the friends of the gov- 
ernment the action of Governor Sutton was denounced 
as tyrannical, unjust, and entirely contrary to the prin- 
ciples of Kesponsible Government. On the other hand 
the friends of the Governor and of the liquor interest 
declared that his action was right, and the cry of " Sup- 
port the Governor," was raised in every county. The 
Liberals at this time found a new name for their oppon- 


ents, whom they described as " Rummies," while the 
Tories retorted by designating the Liberals as "Smashers," 
and these names continued to be used long after the 
prohibition question was settled. At this day it is easy 
enough to discern that there was a good deal of unneces- 
sary violence injected into the campaign, and that neither 
party was inclined to do full justice to the other. 

The result of the election was the defeat of the govern- ' 
ment. Mr. Tilley lost his seat for St. John City, and 
Hon. James Brown, the Surveyor General, was rejected 
"by the County of Charlotte ; so that two of the principal 
members of the Executive were not in their places when 
the House was called together in July. The City of St. - 
John, and the City and County of St. John sent a solid 
phalanx of six members opposed to prohibition, and the 
resignation of the government and the passage of an act 
repealing the prohibitory liquor law speedily followed. 
The new government which was formed had for its 
principal members Hon. John H. Gray, who became 
Attorney General; Hon. John C. Allen, Solicitor Gen- 
eral ; Hon. R. 1). Wilmot, Provincial Secretary ; Hon. 
John Montgomery, Surveyor General ; Hon. Francis 
McPhelim, Postmaster General. The other members of 
the Executive Council were Hon. Edward B. Chandler, 
Hon. Robert L. Hazen and the Hon. Charles McPherson. 

When the House met in July, Hon. Charles Simonds 
of St. John, was elected Speaker, and it was soon discov- 
ered, after the liquor bill had been disposed of, that the 
majority supporting the government was so small as to 


make it impossible for them to accomplish any useful 
legislation. When the Legislature again met, in the early 
part of 1857, it was seen that in a House of forty-one 
members, twenty were arrayed against the government, 
and that the only way in which government business 
could be done was by the casting vote of the Speaker. 
This condition of affairs speedily became intolerable, 
because it practically made legislation impossible, but it 
was brought to an end by Mr. McMonagle, one of the 
members for the County of Kings, withdrawing his 
support from the government. No other course was left 
for them but to tender their resignations, or advise the 
dissolution of the Legislature, and this was accordingly 
> done. The House of Assembly was dissolved by procla- 
mation on the 1st of April, 1857, and the writs for the 
election were made returnable on the 16th of May. 

The excitement attending this second election was, if 
possible, even greater than during the election of 1856, 
for the public mind had been wrought up to a high state 
of tension by the proceedings in the House and the 
numerous divisions, in which it was only supported by 
the casting vote of the Speaker. The result of the 
election was so unfavorable to the Gray- Wilmot govern- 
ment that they at once tendered their resignations to the 
Lieutenant Governor, agreeing to hold office only until 
their successors were appointed. The most bitter contest 
of the election centered in the city of St. John, and it 
resulted in the election of Mr. Tilley, with Mr. James A. 
Harding for his colleague, the latter having changed his 


views in regard to the question at issue since the previous 
election, when he was chosen as an opponent of the 
government of which Mr. Tilley had been a member. 
When the Gray-Wilmot government resigned the 
Lieutenant Governor sent for Mr. Fisher, and entrusted 
to him the business of forming a new government. The 
government thus formed comprised the Hons James 
Brown, S. L. Tilley, William Henry Steeves, John M. 
Johnston, Albert J. Smith, David Wark and Charles 
Watters. The Hon. Charles Fisher became Attorney 
General, and resigning his seat, was re-elected for the 
County of York, prior to the meeting of the Legislature, 
on the 24th of June, 1857. This session only lasted 
until the 1st of July, being merely held for the purpose 
of disposing of the necessary business. James A. Hard- 
ing was elected Speaker of the House, and the legislation 
was confined to the passage of the supply bills, and a few 
other measures regarding subjects which required imme- 
diate attention. Mr. Tilley took no part in the legislation 
of this session, for his seat immediately became vacant by 
his appointment as Provincial Secretary. The other 
departments were filled by the appointment of Mr. Brown 
to the office of Surveyor General ; Mr. Charles Watters 
to the office of Solicitor General, and of John M. Johnston 
as Postmaster General. 

The Legislature met again on the 10th of February, 
1858, and the speech from the throne dealt mainly with 
the financial crisis which had affected the mercantile 
interest of the Province, the Intercolonial Railway, and 


the progress that was being made in the construction of 
the line between St. John and Shediac as a part of what 
was termed the European & North American Kailway. 
The speech also referred to the fact that the surplus civil 
list fund had been, by arrangement with the British 
government, made the previous year, placed at the disposal 
of the House of Assembly. It was soon seen that the 
government was strong in the House, the first test vote 
being that taken on the passage of the address in reply to 
the speech from the throne. This came in the form of an 
amendment, which was moved by Mr. Mclntosh of York, 
regretting that the arrangement in regard to the surplus 
civil list fund had been acceded to without the consent of 
the House. This amendment to the address only received 
the support of six members. A return brought down at 
an early period in the session showed that the revenue of 
the Province for the fiscal year ending October 31st, 1857, 
amounted to $668,252, an increase of $86,528 over the 
previous year. Of this sum upwards of $540,000 came 
from import duties and what were termed railway impost, 
which was simply the duties levied on impost for the 
purpose of defraying the cost of the railways then build- 
ing. The casual and territorial revenue only yielded 
$18,000, but the export duties reached almost $80,000. 

The Intercolonial still continued to engage the attention 
of the Legislature, and correspondence with the Secretary 
of State, with the government of Canada, and with the 
government of Nova Scotia in regard to this great work 
was laid before the House soon after the session opened. 


The government of New Brunswick consulted with the 
governments of Canada and Nova Scotia as to what 
assistance should be given by the Imperial Government 
towards the construction of the Intercolonial from Halifax 
to Quebec, in the form of a guarantee of interest. The 
British Government, through the Colonial Secretary, Mr. 
Labouchere, replied, on January 15th, 1856, that while 
the British Government felt a strong sense of the impor- 
tance of the object, they would not feel themselves justi- 
fied in applying to parliament for the required guarantee, 
because they felt that the heavy expenditure to which 
Great Britain had been subjected did not leave them at 
liberty to pledge its' revenue for the purpose of assisting 
in the construction of public works of this description, 
however desirable in themselves. In other words, the 
British Government had so exhausted its resources in 
fighting useless battles in the Crimea arid elsewhere, for 
the sake of the degraded and effete Mahoraedan power, 
that it was unable to give any assistance to a necessary 
work of a peaceable character for the consolidation of the 
Empire. The Intercolonial Eailway has now been con- 
structed without the British treasury being drawn upon 
to the extent of one penny, and the British Government 
is now glad to use it and its kindred work, the Canadian 
Pacific, for the purpose of forwarding its soldiers from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific. These two great works 
remain as monuments of the spirit and courage of the 
people of the British Provinces of North America, but 
they redound nothing to the credit of any British Govern- 


ment or any Imperial .statesmen, it apparently being 
impossible for any one brought up under the shadow of 
Downing street to discern any good thing in the Colonies. 
The correspondence on the subject of the Intercolonial 
extended over a period of more than twenty years and 
grew to enormous proportions, but it is entirely safe to 
assert that this line of railway would not have been 
constructed in our own time but for the fact that it was 
undertaken by the Canadian Dominion as a work which 
had to be built for the purpose of carrying out the terms 
of confederation as set out in the British North America 

Correspondence was also brought down during this 
session on the subject of emigration to New Brunswick. 
Mr. Moses H. Perley, the immigration agent, had visited 
the United Kingdom for the purpose of promoting the 
movement to induce people to emigrate to this country, 
but he did not find the British Government disposed to 
lend any assistance in relieving their cities of the unem- 
ployed who might have been able to make a good living 
in this Province if brought to it. At this time there was 
a considerable amount of competition on the part of the 
Australian Colonies for immigrants, and New Brunswick 
was not looked upon favorably as a field of immigration. 
It does not appear that the result of Mr. Perley's mission 
to England was very fruitful, the principal difficulty being 
that he had no authority to expend much money for the 
purpose of promoting the object in view. There has 
always been a certain small movement towards this 


Province on the part of the people of the British Islands 
desiring to change their residence, but the condition of 
the Province is such, both as to its labor markets and its 
resources, that it would be unwise to bring people here 
in large numbers, unless arrangements had previously 
been made for settling them comfortably. British immi- 
grants now prefer to go to those lands where there is no 
forest to be felled, or where the cities are large and the 
chance of employment in various lines of industry are 

The financial statement brought down by Mr. Tilley 
showed that the public debt of the Province at the end of 
the fiscal year, 1857, amounted to $2,050,000, of which 
$1,376,000 was funded and bearing interest at the rate of 
six per cent. This debt had been largely incurred in 
railway construction or in stock taken in railways. The 
ordinary revenue was estimated at nearly $650,000, and 
the ordinary expenditure at about $2,000 less. These 
figures do not greatly differ from those of the present 
time, notwithstanding the fact that confederation has 
relieved us of many items of expenditure which the 
Province formerly had to bear. Everything, however, 
was on a small scale in those days. A committee was 
appointed at this session of the Legislature to inquire into 
the manner in which the work of railway construction to 
Shediac was being carried on. The committee reported 
later in the session. Their report seemed hostile to the 
government and censured the manner in which the con- 
tracts had been given out and work done in many places 


without tenders. The people of this Province were then 
quite ignorant of railway building, and there is no doubt 
that the line to Shediac cost far more money than it ought 
to have done. The committee reported that according to 
the Engineer's statement the line would cost, when com- 
pleted, 930,702, or 8,460 a mile ; but the cost was 
considerably more, and exceeded four million dollars, and 
may be roughly put down at forty thousand dollars a 
mile, or twice the sum for which a similar railway could be 
constructed now. This report was received by the House, 
but was not adopted, although the vote upon it was a 
close one. 

The railway to Shediac was finally completed and 
opened for traffic on August 5th, 1860, its length being 
108 miles. The nineteen miles between Point du Chene 
and Moncton had been open as early as August, 1857, 
and the nine miles from St. John to Kothesay on June 
1st, 1858. The railway was opened from St. John to 
Hampton in June, 1859, and to Sussex in November of 
the same year. Although the people of the Province had 
abated someching of their enthusiasm for railways by the 
time the St. John and Shediac line was finished, still its 
opening was a great event, because it was the commence- 
ment of a new era in transportation in this Province, and 
gave St. John access to the North Shore, from which it 
had been practically shut out previously. Goods could 
now be sent by means of railway and steamer to Prince 
Edward Island, and to the New Brunswick ports on the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence, and a community of interest was 


thus created between the most remote sections of the 
Province which did not exist before. The traffic receipts 
of the complete line were thought to be highly satisfac- 
tory ; the business for the first three months amounted to 
about $45,000, and yielded a revenue of $18,000. This 
was a good showing and gave promise of still better 
things for the future. It may be interesting to state 
that in the last year that the railway was operated by the 
government of this Province the gross receipts amounted 
to $148,330, and the net receipts to $51,760. The gross 
and net revenue of the road had shown a steady increase 
from the first, and although it had been a costly public 
work, the people of the Province considered it a good 
investment. It was only after it had passed into the 
hands of the government of Canada, and become a part of 
the Intercolonial Railway, that any color was given to 
the accusation that it was an unprofitable line. The 
railway from St. John to Shediac has always paid well, 
and probably, if disassociated from its connecting lines, 
would at this day pay three or four per cent, upon its 
original cost. 

The legislation of the Province between 1858 and 
1861, although it included many useful measures, evolved 
nothing that calls for particular mention, with the excep- 
tion of the law which provided for voting by ballot. This 
was an innovation to which many were opposed, but 
which the Liberal party very properly considered neces- 
sary to the protection of the .voter, who was liable to be 
coerced by his employer, or by those who had financial 


relations with him. The ballot system introduced by the 
government was quite imperfect and did not insure 
absolute secrecy, because it did not provide for an official 
ballot such as is required in the system of election which 
now prevails in connexion with the choice of members to 
our Canadian parliament. Yet it was a vast improvement 
on open voting, not only because it gave the voter a 
certain degree of protection, but also from the fact that it 
tended to promote order at elections, and to do away with 
that riotous spirit which was characteristic of the earlier 
elections in the Province. 

In 1859 an important step was taken for the re-organ- 
ization of Kings College, which by an act passed in that 
year was changed into the University of New Brunswick. 
There had always been a great deal of dissatisfaction with 
the college in consequence of its denominational character, 
and in 1854 an act was passed empowering the Lieutenant 
Governor to appoint a commission to inquire into the 
state of Kings College, its management and utility, with 
a view to improving it. The commissioners appointed 
were the Hon. John H. Gray, Kev. Egerton Ryerson, J. 
W. Dawson, Hon. John S. Saunders and Hon. James 
Brown. The report, which was dated Dec. 28th, 1854, 
was laid before both branches of the Legislature in 1855. 
In 1857 the college council appointed a committee and 
prepared a draft of a bill, which was laid before the 
Legislature. This with a few slight alterations was the 
bill which was passed in 1859, for the establishment of 
the University of New Brunswick, and in this bill were 


embodied the principal recommendations of the commis- 
sioners appointed in 1854 to inquire into the state of the 
college. This act transferred to the University of New 
Brunswick all the property of Kings College and its 
endowment, and made the university liable for the pay- 
ment of the debts and the performance of the contracts 
of Kings College. It created a new governing body for 
the college to be styled the Senate, to be appointed by the 
governor in council, and the President of the council was 
required to be a member of that body and also to be a 
layman. It conferred upon the Senate the power of 
appointing the professors and other officers of the univer- 
sity, except the President, and also the power of removing 
them from office, subject to the approval of the governor 
in council. It also authorized the Senate to fix their 
salaries. It abolished the professorship of theology and 
provided for the affiliation of other institutions with 
the university, and also for a number of free scholars. 
This act, which was passed in April, 1859, was specially 
approved by Her Majesty in council on January 25th, 
1860. Thus a new era in the higher education of New 
Brunswick was commenced, and a long step was taken 
in advance towards making the college more acceptable 
to the people of this Province. Great hopes were enter- 
tained at the time that this change in the constitution of 
the college would lead to a large increase in the number of 
its students, and a more general interest in its work, but 
unfortunately, as the sequel showed, these hopes were 
only partially realized. 


During the spring- of 1860 circumstances occurred 
which led to the resignation of the Post Master General, 
Hon. Charles Connell. The Legislature having adopted 
the decimal system of currency in the place of the pounds, 
shillings and pence which had been the currency of the 
Province since its foundation, in March, 1860, Mr. Con- 
nell was authorized to obtain a new set of postage stamps 
of the denominations required for use in the postal service 
of the Province. No person at that time thought that a 
political crisis would arise out of this order, but it appears 
that Mr. Connell, guided by the example of Presidents 
and Post Masters General of the United States, had made 
up his mind that instead of the likeness of the Queen, 
which had been upon all the old postage stamps of the 
Province, the five cent stamp, the one which would be 
most in use, should bear the impress of his own counten- 
ance. Accordingly the Connell postage stamp, which is 
now one of the rarest and most costly of all in the lists of 
collectors, was procured and was ready to be used, when 
Mr. Connell's colleagues in the government discovered 
what was going on and took steps to prevent the new five 
cent stamp from being issued. The correspondence on the 
subject, which will be found in the journals of 1861, is 
curious and interesting, but it ended in the withdrawal of 
the objectionable stamps and in the resignation of Mr. 
Connell, who complained that he had lost the confidence 
of his colleagues, and who in resigning, charged them 
with neglecting the affairs of the Province. Only a few 
of the Connell stamps got into circulation, the remainder 


of the issue being destroyed. If anyone could have 
foreseen the enormous value which they would attain at 
a future day a fortune might have been made by the 
lucky individual who succeeded in getting possession of 
them. Mr. Council's place as Post Master General was 
filled by the appointment of James Steadman to that 

In the early part of 1861 a very important event 
occurred in connection with the government which pro- 
duced a lasting effect on Provincial politics. Charges 
were made by a St. John Conservative paper, " The 
Colonial Empire," in which it was stated that members of 
the Government and Crown Land officials had been pur- 
chasing the most desirable and valuable Crown Lands of 
the Province for speculative purposes, and that in bring- 
ing these lands to sale the government regulations had 
been violated and the public treasury had thereby suf- 
fered. A committee of the House was appointed to 
investigate these charges and inquiry established the fact 
that an official of the Crown Land Department had 
purchased a large quantity of Crown Land, and that the 
then Attorney General and leader of the Government 
had purchased some 800 acres. These lands were all 
bought at public sale, but in the forms of application, 
other names were used, which was a violation of the rules 
of the Department. A portion of the press at the time 
created a widespread excitement upon this subject, and 
the services of the official referred to were dispensed with- 
Some of the supporters of the Government also took such 


ground in reference to the Attorney General, Mr. Fisher, 
that his retirement from the Government became neces- 
sary. It was felt at the time that the penalty that was 
paid by the Attorney General was excessive for the 
offence, but, under the excitement of the public mind 
then existing, it was the only course that could be taken 
to avoid the defeat of the Government. At the general 
election that followed a few months later, Mr. Fisher was 
re-elected for the County of York, and later on, after the 
excitement had passed over, the Crown Land official was 
reinstated. At the general election, that took place in 
1861, the Government was handsomely sustained, after 
one of the warmest contests that had ever taken place in 
New Brunswick. Probably the most effective nomination 
speech ever made by Mr. Tilley, during his long political 
career, was the one then delivered at the Court House, St. 
John, in his own defense, and in the vindication of his 
government against the charges made by the opposition 
candidates and press. 



The successful running of the railway from St. John 
to Shediac, and the opening of a portion of the St. An- 
drews railway from that port northward towards Wood- 
stock, stimulated a desire for additional railway connec- 
tion, particularly with Quebec and the United States. It 
may be safely said that from the formation of the Liberal 
Government in 1854 to the time of Confederation the 
principal policy of the government was always a railway 
policy, and numberless communications were exchanged 
with the British government, and the other Colonies 
which now form the Dominion of Canada, for the purpose 
of agreeing upon some common policy with the object of 
completing what is now known as the Intercolonial Rail- 
way. All previous applications to the Imperal Govern- 
ment for pecuniary aid to secure the construction of this 
railway having failed, the governments of Canada, Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick concluded, in 1861, to make 
one more effort before abandoning an undertaking of such 
national and provincial interest, and to that end decided 
upon a meeting of representatives from the three govern- 


ments at Quebec. At a meeting held in the Executive 
1 Council Chamber at Quebec, on the 3Uth September, 
1861, there were present: 


Hon. Mr. Tilley, Hon. Joseph Howe, 

Hon. Mr. Smith, Hon. Mr. Archibald, 

Hon. Mr. Mitchell, Hon. Mr. McCully. 
Hon. Mr. Watters. 


Hon. Mr. Cartier, 
Hon. Mr. Macdonald, 
Hon. Mr. Ross, 
Hon. Mr. Vankoughnet, 
Hon. Mr. Alleyn, 
Hon. Mr. N. Belleau, 
Hon. Mr. Gait, 
Hon. Mr. Cauchon. 

It was then unanimously 

Resolved, " That the three governments of Canada, 
^New Brunswick and Nova Scotia do renew the offers 
made to the Imperial Government on the 26th day of 
October, 1858, to aid in the construction of an Inter- 
colonial Railway, to connect Halifax with Quebec ; and 
that a delegation from each Province shall immediately 
proceed to England, with the object of pressing the project 
upon the attention of the Home Government; giving 
the assurance that the governments of the respective 
Provinces will endeavor to procure the necessary legisla- 
tion at the next ensuing sessions of their respective 
Parliaments ; and it was further. 


Resolved, " That the route to be adopted be decided by 
the Imperial Government." 

The following gentlemen were appointed delegates to 
confer with the Imperial Government upon the subject 
above referred to : Hon. P. M. Vankoughnet, by the 
Canadian Government , Hon. Joseph Howe, by the 
Government of Nova Scotia, and Hon. S. L. Tilley, by ! 
the Government of New Brunswick. 

While the delegates were in England engaged in sub- 
mitting their proposition to the Colonial Secretary, news 
of the Trent affair reached that country. This was the 
seizure of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, two representatives 
of the southern confederacy on board the British mail 
steamer " Trent," in the Bahama Channel, in December, 
1861, by Capt. Wilkes, who was in command of the United 
States war-ship " San Jacinto." This flagrant viola- 
tion of international law was disapproved by the govern- 
ment of the United States, and Messrs. Mason and Slidell 
were given up to the British government ; but for a time 
it met with popular applause, and it seemed likely to 
lead to a war between Great Britain and the United 
States. Troops were sent out hastily to Canada for the 
purpose of defending that Province in the event of a war 
occurring, and as many of these troops had to be taken 
over land through the wilderness between St. John and 
Quebec, it brought to the attention of the British govern- 
ment in a very emphatic manner the imperfection of the 
existing means of communication between the several 


Provinces. Such an object lesson coming at such a time 
was calculated to assist the delegates in placing their case 
before the British government. They were able to show 
that the frontier of Canada was unprotected, and that a 
large hostile force might be thrown against it during the 
winter long before any assistance could reach that Prov- 
ince from England. 

The following extract from a letter from Hon. Mr. 
Joseph Howe to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova 
Scotia, the Earl of Mulgrave, describes in detail the 
proceedings of the delegates in England : 

HALIFAX, 5th April, 1862. 

In obedience to Your Excellency's commands I pro- 
ceeded to England in the steamship " Arabia," leaving Halifax 
on the 1st November, landing on the llth, and returning in the 
" Europa " on the 25th January. The Hon. S. L. Tilley, Provincial 
Secretary of New Brunswick, went over with me, but the Hon. P. 
M. Vankoughnet, the delegate from Canada, was wrecked on his 
passage down the St. Lawrence, and did not reach England until 
late in November. 

A few days after our arrival Mr. Tilley and I waited upon the 
Duke of Newcastle, presented our credentials, and discussed with 
His Grace the objects of our mission. We were gratified to find 
that His Grace viewed most favorably the enterprise which we 
had been sent to England to advocate. His opinions were frankly 
avowed, but, while he promised us his aid, he did not conceal 
from us his opinion that there were difficulties in the way that 
would probably require all our skill and industry to overcome. 
His Grace advised us to see Lord Palmerston and such other 
members of the Cabinet as might be in town from time to time, 
and left us free to take any steps that we might consider 
judicious in order to rouse and combine public opinion in aid of 
the project ; that the decision of the Cabinet, if it were favorable, 
might be fortified and sustained by memorials from the large 
towns and principal centres of commerce in the three kingdoms. 


On the arrival of Mr. Vankoughnet we saw in succession the 
Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary 
of War, and the President of the Board of Trade, and explained 
to them the nature of the enterprize and the views of the 
respective governments. Though the subject had been almost 
exhausted by previous delegations it appeared prudent to con- 
struct an argument based upon the latest information, and it 
was in point of form indispensible that we should place in the 
hands of the Colonial Secretary some written paper upon which 
he could invite the deliberation of the Cabinet. We had nearly 
completed this task when the news arrived in England of 
the arrest of the southern commissioners. The determination of 
Her Majesty's government to demand reparation was almost 
instantly known. The moment that a war in winter with the 
United States became imminent we could not but feel that our 
mission was suddenly invested with a dignity and importance 
that could only be measured by the difficulties and the cost of 
protecting our Canadian frontier in case reparation should be 
refused. It was clear that circumstances favored our exertions 
in proportion as they confirmed the anticipations and the argu- 
ments of those who had preceded us. We lost no time in 
addressing the following letter to His Grace, the Colonial 
Secretary : 

"LONDON, December 2nd, 1861. 

" The undersigned, having presented credentials and 
discussed informally with Your Grace, and with some other 
members of the Cabinet, the objects of our mission, were about 
to forward to Your Grace a communication on the subject of the 
Intercolonial Railway (the draft of which they enclose), when 
the startling events of the last week rendered that task 

" These events so completely vindicate the forethought and 
patriotism of the Colonial Legislatures of the gentlemen who 
from time to time have represented their views in this country, 
and of the British statesmen who have given them countenance 
and aid, that the undersigned deem it unnecessary to do more 


than to present to Your Grace a list of the papers in which their 
arguments are embodied, and a copy of the minute of council by 
which they have been empowered to make, as they now do 
in terms of that minute, a renewed offer to Her Majesty's 

"The war which in the Provinces we have long seen as likely 
to arise out of the complications between the mother country and 
the United States of America is now imminent. The frontier 
which would have been defended by means of rapid communi- 
cation is unprotected and exposed to the concentration of troops 
upon the termini of at least seven railroads. Winter is upon us 
and a hundred thousand men are to be thrown by the enemy 
upon the frontier with more ease than a single battery can be 
transported to Canada or a single barrel of flour can be brought 
down to the seaboard Provinces which, cut off by war from the 
United States, and by ice from Canada, must depend upon 
Europe for breadstuffs with the granaries of half a continent in 
their rear. 

" If those events and strategic contrasts now patent to all the 
world do not plead the cause of British America and finally settle 
this question the undersigned feel that anything that they could 
add would be a needless instrument upon the patience of the 
Cabinet. The undersigned do not believe that in the presence 
of the perils winch all Her Majesty's subjects are called upon to 
confront, an hour should be lost in deciding upon a question 
which lies at the very basis of national defence. If the Provinces 
are to be plunged into a war without the cheap defence which 
they have urged was indispensable to their protection, let them 
have at least the satisfaction of reflecting that it is for the last 
time; and if our commerce is to be imperilled and our cities 
exposed to pillage and conflagration, let us not have to defend 
both with the depressing conviction on our minds that Her 
Majesty's Ministers are indifferent to our position and care less 
for the security of our frontier than they do for that of their 
island homes. 

" Whatever the answer is to be the undersigned would respect- 
fully urge that it should not be delayed. War will rind all the 
Provinces in many ways unprepared, and the undersigned, upon 
whom will rest heavy responsibilities, will require every hour of 


time to meet the exigencies of the period as they ought. They 
will not permit themselves to helieve that any hut one answer 
will be given, hut whatever the answer is it should, if possible, 
be prompt and decisive, that their minds may be freed from 
other thoughts than those which the stern duties of the hour 
imperatively demand. 

" We have the honor to be 

Your Grace's most obedient servants, 
For Canada. 

For Nova Scoti-H. 

For New Brunswick. 
To His Grace 



The undersigned have been deputed by the governments of 
Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to submit a renewed 
proposition for the completion of the Intercolonial Railroad, 
connecting the harbor of Halifax which is open all the year 
round with the railway on the St. Lawrence. Having delivered 
our credentials and discussed the subject of our mission with 
His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, and with some other members 
of the Cabinet, we now proceed to submit in a more formal shape 
a recapitulation of the grounds upon which we think that the 
proposition we have been sent to make ought to be favorably and 
speedily entertained. These naturally divide themselves under 
three heads : 

First. To what extent previous communications with the 
Imperial Government have justly led the Provinces to rely upon 
Imperial assistance in the construction of that which has been 
admitted to be an Imperial work. 

Second. The reasons of public policy which render its con- 
struction at the present time a measure of wise precaution indis- 
pensable to our national defence, and 

Third. The financial aspect of the question. 


We beg, in the first place, to refer to the Memorandum dated 
August, 1857, and signed by Messrs. Macdonald and Rose, 
together with the letter of Messrs. Johnston and Archibald, of 
August 20th, 1857 ; and also to the Memorandum dated October 
26th, 1858, and signed by M essrs. Cartier, Ross, Gait, Fisher, 
Smith, Tupper, Henry and Dickie, which contain the history of 
the question so far as respects the general argument. These 
papers are enclosed. 

To the Memorandum and letter of August, 1857, a reply is 
contained in the despatch of the Right Honorable H. Labouchere, 
addressed to the Governor General of Canada, and dated May 
loth, 1858. That despatch states : 

" Although participating with the members of the several 
Local Governments, and with their own predecessors in office, 
in a strong sense of the importance of this object, Her Majesty's 
advisers cannot feel themselves justified in applying to parlia- 
ment for the required guarantee. Their reasons for declining to 
take this step are solely of a financial description. They feel 
that the heavy expenditure to which this country has been 
subjected of late years, and the calls upon the resources of the 
Empire for pressing emergencies, do not leave them at liberty, 
for the present at least, to pledge its revenue to so considerable 
an extent, for the purpose of assisting in the construction of 
public works of this character, however in themselves desirable." 

In answer to the Memorandum of October 26th, 1858, a despatch 
from the Right Honorable Sir E. B. Lytton to the Governor 
General of Canada, and the Lieutenants of New Brunswick and 
Nova Scotia, and dated December 24th, 1858, states that : 

" Independently of any military advantages which might 
attend the existence of an uninterrupted communication by rail 
over British territory, in the event of any disturbance of the 
existing friendly relations of Great Britain with all other coun- 
tries, some benefits of an Imperial kind would at once accrue 
Irom the completion of the Intercolonial Railway. The letters 
from England would pass over a shorter and cheaper route, and 
the movement of the troops would gain in point of convenience 
and economy." 

The despatch, however, postpones Imperial assistance for 
reasons analogous to those given in the despatch of Sir. H. La- 


bouchere. This despatch closes the official correspondence on 
the subject. 

We submit, therefore, appealing to past communications, that 
the Provinces have full justification for relying upon Imperial 
co-operation, to be rendered at least when the position of Great 
Britain warranted her in undertaking the responsibility of the 
completion of the Intercolonial Railway. 

The undersigned feel that here they might rest their case, as 
they do not believe that Her Majesty's advisers will forget the 
hopes held out by previous governments, or press a literal con- 
struction of any bargain or understanding with the Colonies, 
where, especially as in this case, it can be shown that in a 
measure of common interest and mutual defence the Colonies 
have already done more than their share ; but they are desirous 
to meet every argument by which the proposition for Imperial 
aid may be opposed. 

Those who in this country fear the cost of Colonial garrisons 
in the west, should remember that the British Provinces lost 
more during the last war than those garrisons have ever cost, 
and that in a single year of war with the United States, they 
would again lose more than the value of all the military expen- 
diture for half a century to come. 

We are content, however, with our present position and with 
the affectionate and honorable relations with the mother coun- 
try, which it is clearly our mutual interest to maintain, and 
which were never more firmly based in thorough loyalty than at 
this moment. But the question always arises : How can the 
connection be best cemented and the frontier be put in the best 
attitude of defence ? 

The Colonial Secretary, who has recently visited America, does 
not require to be informed that since the war of 1812 the United 
States have covered their country with a network of railways, 
and that seven of these lines run directly in upon the Canadian 
frontier; while others traverse or reach the shores of the great 
lakes, commanding the chief entreports of Canadian commerce, 
and others again extend to the seaboard cities directly fronting 
the Province of Nova Scotia, or through the State of Maine to 
within eighty miles of the borders of New Brunswick. If these 
railroads did not exist the Colonial militia, with slight aid from 


the Imperial government, could defend our frontiers in case of 
war, as they did in 181 2. But by the aid of these railroads it is 
obvious that the United States could at any time within a week 
concentrate upon their termini a hundred thousand men or 
more, a force that we might in the end successfully oppose, but 
one so formidable as to enable them to capture, if they were so 
disposed, or to destroy our chief cities before, by any means at 
our disposal, we could concentrate our domestic forces, or receive 
effective aid from England. While the United States maintained 
an army of only 10,000 men, the danger of a surprise did not 
appear to be very imminent. A few British regiments would 
have been sufficient to cope with such a force, and our volun- 
teers with such instructors could have been disciplined as fast 
as theirs. 

But all this has been changed within a year. The Northern 
States have now at least a quarter of a million of embodied 
troops upon the Potomac, considerable numbers under arms in 
various States, and 50,000 three months men, who have returned 
to their homes with some degree of discipline and some know- 
ledge of camp life. The whole of the Northern States is one vast 
recruiting ground. Should the present civil war continue it is 
contended by some that there will be full employment for these 
forces at the south, but vulnerable as Canada now is she invites 
attack from that surplus force which now exists. But when this 
contest ends, and end it*nust even should no conflict with us 
mark the interval either by exhaustion by conquest or by the 
interference of foreign powers, there will remain in the Northern 
States two or three hundred thousand trained soldiers, with a 
fair proportion of ambitious military chieftains, emulous of 
distinction, or it may be, not indisposed to wipe out in foreign 
fields the remembrance of discomfitures experienced in civil 
strife. Besides disciplined masses of soldiers the United States 
will have accumulated vast stores of warlike material. Enor- 
mous quantities of small arms and of cannon have been pur- 
chased or manufactured, and the establishments founded by a 
lavish expenditure can readily supply as many more. The 
United States thus have been suddenly transformed from peaceful 
communities, pursuing lawful commerce, to a military republic. 
The British Provinces survey these phenomena without fear 
but not without emotion, and they ask, as the first measure of 



indispensable precaution and obvious defence, that the Inter- 
colonial Railroad shall be completed without delay. Without 
that road the Provinces are dislocated and almost incapable of 
defence for a great portion of the year, except at such a sacrifice 
of life and property, and at such an enormous cost to the mother 
country, as makes the small contribution which she is asked to 
give towards its construction sink into insignificance. With 
that railroad we can concentrate our forces on the menaced points 
of our frontier, guard the citadels and works which have been 
erected by Great Britain at vast expense, cover our cities from 
surprise, and hold our own till reinforcements can be sent across 
the sea; while without the railway, if any attack were made in 
winter the mother country could put no army worthy of the 
national honor and adequate to the exigency upon the Canadian 
frontier without a positive waste of treasure far greater than the 
principal of the sum, the interest of which she is asked to con- 
tribute or rather to risk. 

The British government have built expensive citadels at Hali- 
fax, Quebec and Kingston, and have stores of munitions and 
warlike material in them. But their feeble garrisons will be 
inadequate for their defence, unless the Provincial forces can be 
concentrated in and around them. An enterprising enemy would 
carry them by coups de main before they could be reinforced from 
England ; and once taken the ports and roadsteads which they 
have been erected to defend would not be oversafe for the naval 
armaments sent out too late for their relief. 

Since this subject was pressed upon the attention of the British 
government in 1851, taking the very moderate military expen- 
diture of last year as the basis of an estimate, 4,417,590 have 
been expended in the British Provinces for the maintenance of a 
few thousand troops in time of profound peace. Of what avail 
is this expenditure ? With what object has it been incurred or 
are similar disbursements to be continued, if the only work 
which during five months of the year will furnish the means of 
securing the Provinces is to be neglected ? Why spend so much 
money if it is to be of no use hereafter, and if proper precautions 
are not taken to protect the property which has been made thus 

Therefore we desire to strengthen our frontier by the comple- 
tion of a work indispensable to its defence. It is not too much 


to say that the construction of the Intercolonial Railroad might 
save us the cost of a war, for the Americans are themselves 
sagacious enough to see that with that work completed surprise 
is impossible, and the results of a protracted war at least ex- 
tremely doubtful. Without it Canada and the M aritime Prov- 
inces may be cut asunder and outflanked at any moment, without 
the possibility of their population leaning upon common points 
of support, and aiding and strengthening each other. We are 
reluctant to believe, then, that Her Majesty's government will 
forget the opinion expressed by Lord Durham in his report, or 
will even, if disposed to, construe strictly the terms of the offer 
made in 1851 by Lord Grey, overlook the momentous interests 
now at stake, or the altered circumstances which at the present 
moment invest this subject with so much of national interest and 

Though the undersigned argue this question upon higher 
grounds than those of mere finance, they repeat that they are 
not indifferent to the financial aspect of it. The Colonies unaided 
have themselves, since 1851, already made nearly one-half of the 
railway route, and the construction of about 350 miles more by the 
joint action of the Imperial and Colonial governments, will com- 
plete the Intercolonial Railway. Our governments and people, 
having done so much already, now propose to contribute more 
than one-half of the liability of what remains, and thus to be 
responsible for 60,000 a year, and also for the right of way. The 
mother country is now asked to give fiO,000 a year, so long only 
as the revenue of the railway is inadequate to meet the interest. 
What is she to get or to save ? is not, however, an unreasonable 
question. We will endeavor to supply an answer. 

The British government now pay to two lines of steamers, one 
of which carries the mails and passengers past the British Prov- 
inces, 189,500. Make the Intercolonial Railroad and there 
cannot be the slightest pretence under any circumstances for 
continuing these subsidies beyond the port of Halifax, and 
the subsidy ought not to exceed 112,000, the amount of postage 
now actually received. 

If the contract for the Galway Line is renewed the subsidy 
should only cover the sea service from the nearest point in 
Ireland to the nearest port on the continent of America. It is a 
mistake to suppose that subsidies are required to maintain 


communication between the Maritime Provinces and the United 
States. Steamers run all summer from Halifax and St. John to 
Portland and Boston, maintained by private enterprise, and will 
soon be adequate for the winter service, if left to a fair field of 
open competition. Subsidies to a reliable line of ocean steamers 
may, by the British government, notwithstanding the difference 
of opinion existing, be considered indispensable, but these, if 
limited to the amount of postage (112,000), would save 77,500 a 
year, so soon as the Intercolonial Railroad is completed to 
Halifax. This saving would more than cover the entire sum 
which the Imperial government is now asked to risk to insure 
the construction of the work. 

But in addition to the cost of ocean steamers the British people 
now pay for the transmission of their correspondence with their 
own Provinces twelve and a half cents per ounce on letters, and 
two cents on'newspapers sent through the United States, amount- 
ing on the whole to a large sum per annum, which could be saved 
to the country. 

The cost of conveying by land a single regiment from Halifax 
to Quebec in 1838 is stated to have been 30,000. The cost of 
transportation in winter was so great in 1855 that the regiments, 
so much wanted in the Crimea, and not required in Canada at all, 
had to be left over there till the war was over. 

Were the Intercolonial Railway built troops could be forwarded 
from Halifax to Quebec in four and twenty hours. If to the 
amount which may be fairly deducted from the steamship 
subsidies be added the amount paid to the Post Office of the 
United States, and the actual cost of moving troops and material 
on an average often years, the figures will show an amount of 
saving far beyond the aid asked for, and which ought to satisfy 
the most rigid economist ; that while what we urge secures Im- 
perial interests now in peril, it saves the resources of the English 

There is one view of this subject which surely should not be 
overlooked. Within the last ten years but 235,285 emigrants 
from the British Islands went to the Provinces, while more than 
six times the number, or 1,495,243, went to the United States, and 
are now citizens of that country, whose commercial policy is seen 
in the Morrill tariff, which shuts out the manufactures of this 
country. Let us hope that it is not too late to turn the tide of 


emigration elsewhere, that, the life blood of the parent state may 
not be drained off to extend the power of a people who alone can 
threaten or endanger the British rule in America, and whose 
jealous sensitiveness renders a continuance of their friendship 
towards Great Britain at all times uncertain. 

The proposal made to the British government is to join the 
three Provinces in a guarantee of four per cent, upon 3,000,000 
Sterling, the assumed cost of the proposed works, less the cost of 
the right of way, which the Provinces will provide. The Prov- 
inces are ready to pass bills of supply for 60,000 a year if the 
Imperial government will do the same, and as no doubt this 
Imperial route will gradually work on with increasing returns, 
the sum of the risk will gradually diminish, until at last, and 
perhaps before many years are over, the liability may cease 
altogether. The Canadian Railway Companies are open to treat 
for the working of the line so as to avoid any liability beyond 
the gross amount of the joint guarantee. The selection of the 
route of the line is left solely to the British government. 

Should the British government prefer to raise the capital for 
building the road their outside responsibility under such arrange- 
ments would be three and a quarter per cent, on 3,000,000, or 
about 97,500 a year, and the Provinces would still be responsible 
for one-half, leaving a net liability to the British government of 
only 48,750 a year ; but if they are not disposed thus to increase 
their nominal and decrease their real responsibility, the sum 
required for the estimated length of 350 miles of railway, namely 
3,000,000, can be raised on the terms named, viz., by the mutual 
guarantee of 120,OoO a year, or 60,000 a year from the Provinces 
and 60,000 a year from the British government, which guarantee 
will enable the issue at par of 3,ooo,000 of four per cent, stock. 

And now, believing that in this and former papers submitted 
to the Imperial authorities, all the arguments in detail in favor 
of the Intercolonial policy sought for have been fully set forth, 
the undersigned have only to add that it appears to them that 
such arguments are conclusive, that the subject should be looked 
upon and dealt with mainly in regard to the consideration of 
permanent connection between Great Britain and the Provinces, 
and the relative positions of England and the United States in 
the event of hostilities between them. 


Is or is not the completion of the line of railway between Hali- 
fax and Quebec essential, or at least of infinite importance, as 
enabling England to carry on by land as well as by sea a war 
with the only power in America that can assail her, as enabling 
her to protect a portion of her own dominions ? Should war with 
the "United States of America break out during the present or any 
winter, how is England to cope with her adversary by land ? 
How can she transport a month hence to the points of strategy 
in Canada the necessary troops and material of war ? and to 
what mortification and disaster may not her few soldiers, usually 
in garrison there, be subjected for want of that aid which the 
Intercolonial Railway could bring them ? Again, England has 
pledged herself, and without a formal pledge would doubtless 
strive, that the whole force of the Empire should be put forth for 
the defence of the Provinces in the event of a foreign invasion, 
and how can that strength be put forth in Canada without the 
means of reaching it in winter ? And while she may by her 
navy hold the American seaboard in terror, the American forces 
can enter Canada, and three millions of people will be left to cope 
with twenty millions in a war in the cause of which they would 
have had no concern, and in the conduct of which they could 
have no voice. 

A dispute in the China seas may involve the United States and 
England in war, and Canada, without this means of protection, 
will have to bear the brunt and suffering of it, without having 
provoked the difference or being directly interested in the 

The undersigned most desire it to be understood that the 
financial position of the Provinces does not enable them to hold 
out any hope that more than is herein proposed can be offered 
by the Provinces themselves. The heavy responsibilities for her 
railway undertakings now pressing upon her have compelled 
Canada, in order to preserve her credit with her debenture 
holders, to impose import duties on a scale which has already 
raised discussion in England, and laid her under the imputation 
of having had resort to a system of commercial protection, when 
in fact she was simply straining her resources to preserve her 
credit and good faith. To her, therefore, as well as to the other 
Provinces, greater sacrifices are impossible. 


As the selection of the route to be adopted has been confided 
by the Provinces to the British government, and all local dis- 
putes in regard to it thus removed, the undersigned would urge 
the importance of making use of the coming winter to select and 
locate the line of Railway ; and if it were possible to lay upon 
the ground some of the heavier material, most valuable time 
would also be gained. The line can be completed in two sum- 
mers, if the coming winter be used, and in such a case the railway 
may be completed by the fall of 1863. 

The reply of the British government to the propositions 
embodied in the above was contained in a despatch from 
the Colonial Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of 
New Brunswick, and was as follows : 

DOWNING STREET, April 12, 1862. 

I have already acknowledged the receipt of your des- 
patches, the one accompanied by a joint address to Her Majesty 
from both Houses of the Legislature of New Brunswick, expres- 
sive of their wish that Imperial aid may be afforded to the com- 
pletion of the Intercolonial Railway between Halifax and Quebec, 
the other reporting that the Hon. Samuel Tilley had been ap- 
pointed to represent New Brunswick in the Provincial delegation 
which was intended to visit England on this subject. Not long 
afterwards Mr. Tilley arrived and associated himself with the 
Hon. Philip Vankoughnet, who had been appointed delegate on 
behalf of Canada, and the Hon. Joseph Howe, on behalf of Nova 
Scotia. I had several interviews with these gentlemen,who urged 
with good ability the project committed to their charge, and 
eventually embodied their views in a Memorandum communi- 
cated to me in a letter dated December 2nd, 1861, but owing to 
the urgency of business connected with the threatening aspect of 
affairs in the United States, I was unable to bring the subject 
under the consideration of Her Majesty's government before the 
deputies were obliged to return to their homes, and other urgent 
matters have hitherto prevented the adoption of a decision. The 
subject has now been before Her Majesty's government, and I 
need, scarcely assure you that they have examined it with the 


care due to the importance of the question, of the high authori- 
ties from whom it has emanated in the Provinces, and to the 
character and position of the delegates by whom it has been so 
powerfully presented to notice in this country. 

The length of railway necessary to complete the communica- 
tion between Halifax and Quebec is estimated at 350 miles, and 
the cost, after deducting the right of way, which the Provinces 
will provide, is estimated at 3,000,000 Sterling, such being the 
data supplied by the deputation. The project is that the Impe- 
rial government should join the three Provinces in a guarantee 
-of four per cent, upon 3,000,000, in which case the Provinces are 
to pass bills of supply for 60,000 a year, 20,000 in each Prov- 
ince, if the Imperial government will do the same. The selection 
of the route is left solely to the British government. Should the 
sum of 3,dOO,000 be found insufficient, nothing very definite is 
said on the essential point of the provision to be made for the 
completion of the railway. 

I much regret to inform you that, after giving the subject their 
best consideration, Her Majesty's government have not felt them- 
selves at liberty to concur in this mode of assistance. Anxious, 
however, to promote, as far as they can, the important object of 
completing the great line of railway communication on British 
ground,between the Atlantic and the westernmost parts of Canada, 
and to assist the Provinces in a scheme which would so materially 
promote their interests, Her Majesty's government are willing 
to offer to the Provincial government an Imperial guarantee of 
interest towards enabling them to raise by public loan, if they 
should desire it, at a moderate rate, the requisite funds for con- 
structing the railway. This was the mode of action contem- 
plated by Earl Grey, in the year 1851, and is the same method 
which was adopted by Parliament in the Act of 1842, in order to 
afford to Canada the benefit of British credit in raising the 
money with which she has completed her great system of internal 
water communications. 

The nature and extent of the guarantee which Her Majesty's 
government could undertake to recommend to Parliament must 
be determined by the particulars of any scheme which the Pro- 
vincial governments may be disposed to found on the present 
proposal, and on the kind of security which they would offer. I 
fear that this course will not be so acceptable to the Provincial 


governments as that which the delegates were authorized to 
propose for consideration. It is, however, the only one in which 
Her Majesty's government, after anxious deliberation, feel that 
they would be at liberty to participate. I trust that the proposal 
will, at all events, be received as a proof of their earnest wish to 
find some method in which they can co-operate with the Prov- 
inces in their laudable desire to complete a perfect intercolonial 
communication over British territory, and it will be a source of 
sincere pleasure to me if, adverting to all the different bearings 
of the subject, and to the condition of their respective finances, 
the Provincial governments should end by finding it in their 
power to make use of the present offer and to propound some 
practical scheme for applying it to the attainment of the desired 
object. I have addressed a similar despatch to the Governor 
General of Canada and the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, 
and I must now leave the subject in the hands of the several 
Provincial governments, who will best know, in case they prose- 
cute the subject further, how to provide for the requisite mutual 

I have the honor to be, 


Your most obedient humble servant, 

Delegates, representing the three Provinces, met at 
Quebec in September, 1862, to consider the proposal of 
the Duke of Newcastle as to the aid the Imperial govern- 
ment were prepared to give in the construction of the 
Intercolonial Eailway. New Brunswick was represented 
by Messrs. Tilley, Steeves and Mitchell. Having dis- 
cussed with the gentlemen present the immediate ques- 
tions which had brought them together, the delegates 
from the Maritime Provinces declared their willingness 
to propose to their respective governments to accept the 
proposition of the Duke of Newcastle, if the government 
of Canada would bear one-half of the expense of the rail- 


way instead of one-third. After a day's deliberation 
the Canadian Council communicated their ultimatum, 
which was an offer to assume five-twelfths of the liability 
of the construction and working of the Intercolonial Kail- 
way, provided the two other Provinces would assume the 
remaining seven-twelfths. After serious and anxious 
deliberations the delegates from Nova Scotia and New 
Brunswick decided to assume the responsibility. The 
following Memoranda were then agreed upon : 


The undersigned, representing the three governments of Can- 
ada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, convened to consider the 
despatch of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, of April 12th, 
1862, with reference to the Intercolonial Railway, having given 
.the very important matters contained in that despatch their 
attentive consideration, are agreed : 

1. That while they have learned with very great regret that 
Her Majesty's Imperial government has finally declined to 
sanction the proposal made on behalf of these Provinces, in 
December, 1861, and at previous periods, they at the same time 
acknowledge the consideration exhibited in substituting the 
proposal of " an Imperial guarantee of interest towards enabling 
them to raise by public loan, if they should desire it, at a moder- 
ate rate, the requisite funds for constructing the railway." 

2. That with an anxious desire to bind the Provinces more 
closely together, to strengthen the connection with the mother 
country, to promote their common commercial interest, and to 
provide facilities essential to public defences of these Provinces 
as intregal parts of the Empire, the undersigned are prepared to 
assume, und^r the Imperial guarantee, the liability for the 
expenditure necessary to construct this great work. 


3. That the three governments are agreed that the proportion 
of liability for the necessary expenditure shall be apportioned as 
follows, namely : Five- twelfths for Canada and seven-twelfths to 
be equally divided between the Provinces of New Brunswick and 
Nova Scotia. 

4. But it is understood that the liability for principal and 
interest shall be borne by each Province to the extent only of the 
proportion hereby agreed upon. 

5. That in arriving at this conclusion the undersigned have 
been greatly influenced by the conviction that the construction 
of the road between Halifax and Quebec must supply an essen- 
tial link in the chain of an unbroken highway, extending through 
British territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in the comple- 
tion of which every Imperial interest in North America is most 
deeply involved ; and the undersigned are agreed that to present 
properly this part of the subject to the Imperial authorities, the 
three Provinces will unite at an early day in a joint representation 
on the immense political and commercial importance of the 
western extension of the projected work. 

J. S. 



J. Mossis, 






J. McCuLLY, 

' Nova Scotia. 


[New Brunswick. 



Agreed at the conference of the delegates of Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick and the government of Canada : 

1. If it should be concluded that the work shall be constructed 
and managed by a joint commission of the three Provinces, it 
shall be constituted in the proportion of the two appointed by 
the government of Canada, and one each by the governments of 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the four to select a fifth before 
entering upon the discharge of their duties. 

2. That a joint delegation proceed with as little delay as 
possible to England to arrange with the Imperial government the 
terms of the loans, the nature of the security required, the 
amount to be paid for the transport of troops and mails, and, if 
possible, to obtain a modification of the terms proposed to the 
extent of the interest accruing during the construction of the 

3. That no surveys be authorized until the laws contemplated 
shall have been passed and the joint commissioners appointed ; 
that any profit or loss, after paying working expenses, shall be 
divided in proportion to the contribution of the several Pro- 

4. That such portions of the railways now owned by the 
governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which may be 
required to form part of the Intercolonial road, shall be worked 
under such joint authority as may be appointed by the three 
Provinces ; that the rates collected shall be uniform over each re- 
speqtive portion of the road. That all net gain or loss resulting 
from the working and keeping in repair of any portion of the road 
constructed by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and to be used as 
a part of the Intercolonial Railway shall be received and borne 
by the said Provinces, respectively, and the surplus, if any, after 
the payment of interest, shall go in abatement of interest on the 
whole line between Halifax and River du Loup. 

5. That the Crown Lands required for the line and for stations 
shall be provided by each Province. 

THOMAS D'ARCY McGEE, for Canada. 
JOSEPH HOWE, for Nova Scotia. 
S. L. TILLEY, for New Brunswick. 


The delegation to England was composed of the fol- 
lowing gentlemen : The Hon. Mr. Rowland and the 
Hon. Mr. Sicotte for Canada ; Hon. Joseph Howe for 
Nova Scotia, and the Hon. S. L. Tilley for New 

The departure of the .Canadian delegates was delayed 
by a prolonged session of Parliament, but after their 
arrival in London an early conference was arranged with 
Mr. Gladstone. The objections taken at this conference 
by the delegates to the proposed terms were mainly to 
the Sinking Fund provisions. Mr. Gladstone desired 
that 3,000,000 should be set aside for this purpose, and 
it appeared that this was to be a first charge upon the 
revenues of the several Provinces. The delegates pre- 
sented fully their objections to the Sinking Fund, 
and asked that their reasons as stated should have 
the favorable consideration of the Imperial govern- 
ment. This Mr. Gladstone promised a week later. 
In the meantime the Canadian delegates left for 
Paris. Before the week expired Mr. Gladstone sent 
his reply to the delegates. He held to his demand for a 
Sinking Fund, but explained that he did not wish the 
guarantee to take precedence of the then existing liabil- 
ities of the several Provinces. A copy of Mr. Gladstone's 
reply having been submitted to Mr. Howe and Mr. Tilley, 
then in London, and it being necessary for Mr. Tilley to 
return to New Brunswick at the earliest date possible, 
they prepared and submitted to the Duke of Newcastle a 
Memorandum, of which the following is a copy : 


As the Intercolonial Railroad is a work in which the Imperial 
and Colonial governments are assumed to have a joint interest, as 
the undersigned regard it as indispensable to national defence, and 
to the transportation to this country of breadstuff's, in case war 
with the United States should ever arise, they hope Mr. 
Gladstone may be induced to reconsider the matter of the Sinking 
Fund and trust that the Cabinet may be enabled to convince 
Parliament that under all the circumstances of the peculiar case, 
a Sinking Fund should not be insisted upon. But if it is, the 
undersigned will not assume the responsibility of periling or 
delaying this great enterprise by neglecting what the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer seems to regard as an indispensable condition. 
]f they did they do not believe that such a course would meet the 
approbation of the governments they represent. 



It is understood that on receipt of Mr. Gladstone's 
reply by the Canadian delegates, they left England wich- 
out an acceptance of the terms proposed, and without a 
formal rejection. Previous to the meeting of the Cana- 
dian Parliament Mr. Tilley was requested to proceed to 
Quebec and urge upon the Canadian government the 
preparation of the necessary bills to carry out the agree- 
ment entered into for the construction of this great rail- 
way. Mr. Tilley reported to the Lieutenant Governor of 
New Brunswick, and to Mr. Howe, that the government 
of Canada, for reasons stated by them, could not then 
undertake to have passed the legislation required, which 
they greatly regretted, but that they had not abandoned 
the arrangements or the construction of the railway, and 
would be willing to ask for a vote of money to cover 
their share of the cost of its survey. It was, therefore, a 


matter of great surprise and regret to the friends of this 
international work in Canada and England that the 
government, during the session, declared that they had 
abandoned this .important enterprise. The feeling in 
England on hearing this may be understood by a com- 
munication sent to the government of Canada by a 
representative organization in London, urging the speedy 
completion of the proposed railway and the passage of 
the needed legislation : 


LONDON, January 29th, 1863. 

In pursuance of the wish expressed to the Secretary of 
this Association, the Association addressed the Colonial Minister 
under date the 8th inst., as per copy enclosed, urging that the 
surveys preliminary to the submission of the question of the 
Intercolonial Railway to the Imperial Parliament, should be pro- 
ceeded with as soon as possible. I am instructed confidentially to 
say that in reply to this application, the Association have received 
under date of 21st January, a letter by direction of the Colonial 
Minister, in which it is stated that "Her Majesty's Government 
can have no objection to the commencement of the surveys 
necessary in order to determine the line of railway and ascertain 
the cost, as soon as the Colonial governments shall have author- 
ized the advance of the requisite funds and shall have come to an 
arrangement respecting the appointment of the officers to be em- 

Thus it will be seen that the request which the Association 
was desired to make is at once consented, and it will now rest 
with the Provinces by a very small outlay of money to make the 
preliminary survey and obtain that estimate of cost, which are 
all that in the first instance Her Majesty's government will re- 
quire. In fact it is the desire, as the Association believe, of the 
Imperial government to throw no technical obstacle in the way, 
but if the provinces will enable them to do so, to bring the whole 


question before Parliament in the coming sessions. To this end 
the surveys and estimates are not required to be those tinal 
and elaborate documents upon which the works would be let by 
contract, but merely reliable general facts which practical men 
would require in order to guide their judgment as to the feasa- 
bility and costs of ttie project. 

But the Association regret to learn that while the delegates 
from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick expressed a concurrence 
in the general scheme proposed by the treasury, the delegates 
from Canada sent to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, on the 
day of their leaving England, and to quote the words of the letter 
from the Colonial office above alluded to, "without seeking any 
further discussion or the removal of any misapprehension or un- 
certainty in which they might be involved," a Memorandum 
conveying their dissent to the above named treasury minute and 
giving counter proposals which the Association cannot think 
differ essentially from the scheme proposed by Her Majesty's 

The Association believe that the three points of difference are : 
First, as to the proposed rate of interest on the debentures ; 
Second, as to the Sinking Fund, and Third, as to the suggestion 
that Her Majesty's government shall be satisfied that the railway 
can be constructed without the Imperial government being asked 
for further assistance. 

As regards the latter point, that will be determined with the 
greatest ease by the estimates of cost which the preliminary 
surveys proposed may exhibit, and the Association believe that 
the faith of Her Majesty's government in the entire solvency of 
the Provinces will satisfy them on this head so soon as such sur- 
vey and estimate be presented to them, and more especially so as 
the Association believe that Her Majesty's government are ready 
to agree to the appointment of an Engineer, and that the plans 
and estimates may be in England, if immediate dispatch is exer- 
cised, by the first week in June. 

As regards the second point, it appears that the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer proposed a definite scheme of Sinking Fund, while 
the Canadian delegates proposed a Sinking Fund in another form, 
namely, " In which profits of the road shall be applied towards 
extinction of the loan." 


As regards the first point, it will be obvious, on reading carefully 
the treasury minute alluded to, that the illustrative calculations 
therein made are merely hypothetical, while on the other hand it 
is, as the Association believe, a fact that money can be raised, if 
the Imperial guarantee is proposed, at the rate named by the 
delegates, namely 3J per cent., and if this be so then the most 
material difficulty of all is clearly disposed of. 

Under these circumstances the Association would hope that the 
Canadian government, in view of the present state of political and 
other circumstances, may see their way to a frank explanation 
with Her Majesty's government, and that the misapprehensions 
for the Association will not believe they are more which have 
arisen may be removed without delay. 

The Association are all the more anxious on this head because 
experience has proved that misunderstandings of this nature are 
very difficult to remove when once established. Th Association 
have learned with very great regret that the leading organ of a 
large political party in Canada has declared that Messrs. Sicotte 
and Rowland have succeeded in their real mission, namely, the 
indefinite postponement of the Intercolonial Railway. 

The Association will not believe that this statement possesses 
any color of truth, but they allude to it in order to show how, 
connected with what has taken place, so vigorous an allegation 
may be used to damage, in the opinion of the people of this 
country, a great enterprise which the Association hope all true 
patriots.both in Great Britain and Canada, have sincerely at heart. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Your very obedient servant, 

A. D. HAY, Chairman. 
To the Honorable, the Provincial Secretary of Canada, Quebec. 

The engagements entered into by the governments of 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were discharged to the 
letter by the passage of the necessary legislation, though 
with some opposition. No further steps were taken by 
the government and Legislature of Canada to secure the 
construction of this railway until the Confederation nego- 
tiations were commenced in 1864. Q 



We now come down to an event of the greatest interest, 
in which Mr. Tilley took part, and one of such vast and 
widely reaching importance that it overshadows every 
other part of his distinguished career. The confederation 
of the Canadian Provinces was beyond all question the 
most notable movement that had been taken by any 
Colony of the British Empire since the Declaration of 
Independence of the thirteen Colonies. It changed at 
once the whole character of the Colonial relation which 
had subsisted with the mother country, and substituted 
for a few weak and scattered Colonies a powerful Do- 
minion, able to speak with a united voice, and stand as a 
helpmeet to the nation from which most of its people had 
sprung'. No man, whatever his views as to the wisdom 
of that political union may have been at the time, can 
now deny that it was timely and necessary, if the Colonies 
and the mother country were to preserve their connection 
with each other. It is safe to- say that if Confederation 
had not taken place in 1867, British interests on this 
continent would have suffered, and possibly some of the 
Colonies would now have been a part of the United 
States. The policy of separating the Colonies from 
England, which has been so much advocated by many 
leading public men in the great republic, would have 


found free scope, and by balancing the interests of one 
Colony against those of another, promoting dissensions 
and favoring those Provinces which were disposed to a 
closer union with the United States, something might 
have been done to weaken their allegiance to the British 
Empire, connection with which is now the glory and the 
strength of the Dominion of Canada. . 

The question of the union of the several Colonies of 
British North America was by no means a new one when 
it came up for final settlement. It had been discussed at 
a very early period in the history of the Provinces, and 
indeed it was a question which it was quite natural to 
discuss, for it seemed but reasonable that Colonies of the 
same origin, owning the same allegiance, filled with 
people who differed but little with each other in any 
respect, and with many commercial interests in common, 
should form a political union. No doubt it might have 
been brought earlier to the front as a vital political 
question but for the fact that the British government, 
which was most interested in promoting the union of the 
Colonies, took no step towards the end until almost com- 
pelled by necessity to move in the matter. The Colonial 
policy of England, as represented in the Colonial office 
and in the royal instructions to Colonial governors, has 
seldom been wise or far-seeing, and the British Colonies 
which now girdle the world have been built up mainly 
as the result of private enterprise ; for the part taken by 
the government has, in most cases, been merely a con- 
currence in what private individuals have already done, 


and to assist in protecting British interests when they 
have become important, especially in new regions of the 
world. When we consider the manner in which Cabinet 
appointments have been and arc still arranged in Eng- 
land, this weakness on the part of the Colonial office need 
not surprise us. The English Prime Minister, in filling 
up his Cabinet, can give but little attention to the ques- 
tion of merit and fitness, as compared with availability on 
the score of influence and family connection. Until 
recently the system of government in England has been 
mainly aristocratic, and leading families, who were 
supposed to be able to lend political strength to the 
Cabinet, were able to force inefficient members upon it, 
thus making it an aggregation not of talents but of money 
and titles. Until the year 1801, the business of the 
Colonies was carried on at the home office, but in that 
year it was transferred to the Secretary of State for War, 
and so continued until 1854, when the offices were 
divided, and Sir George Grey became first Secretary of 
State for the Colonies. Under such circumstances we 
need not feel any surprise that the business of the 
Colonies was done in a very imperfect fashion, and that 
very absurd notions prevailed in regard to the manner in 
which they ought to be treated. 

It has been seen that in the early years of New Bruns- 
wick's history the government was largely controlled by 
the Lieutenant Governor, who received his commands 
from Downing street, and who made things pleasant for 
himself by entering into alliance with leading families in 


the Province, among whom the offices were divided, and 
who enjoyed the distinction of being his advisers in all 
matters. The home authorities seemed to think that if 
these families were pleased everything was well, and they 
claimed as a right the distribution of offices and the 
control of legislation in a manner which no Colonial 
Minister in his senses would now dream of attempting to 
exercise. When the Earl of Durham was sent out as 
Governor General of Canada after the rebellion there in 
1838, he suggested in his report that the union of the 
Colonies of British North America was one of the 
remedies which ought to be resorted to for the pacification 
of Canada and the reconstruction of its constitution. 
Lord Durham, although of high descent and an earl of 
the United Kingdom, was a strong Liberal, and in face a 
Radical in his political notions, and as a consequence 
incurred the hatred of all the aristocratic nobodies who 
formed British society, and who even at this day are 
ready to hiss a British Prime Minister of Liberal ten- 
dencies. Lord Durham was made the object of bitter 
attacks by the entire Tory body in England, and some 
actions of his, in which he seemed to have strained the 
constitution, were made a pretext for his dismissal from 
office and his disgrace. He died a broken-hearted man, but 
the principles which he enunciated in his report did not 
die, but survived to find their full fruition a quarter of a 
century later at a time when Toryism had less ability to 
injure, and when it had somewhat modified its views with 
regard to the Colonies. 


While a large proportion of the people of the Colonies 
looked with favor upon the idea of a political union, there 
was in all of them a large body of objectors who were 
steadily opposed to it. People of that kind are to be 
found in all countries, and they have existed in all ages 
of the world's history. They are the persons who see in 
every new movement a thousand difficulties which can- 
not be surmounted. Their minds are constructed on the 
principle of rejecting all new ideas, and hanging on to 
old forms and systems long after they have- lost their 
vitality. They are a class who look back f6r precedents 
for any step of a political character which it is proposed 
to take, and who judge of Everything by the standard of 
some former age, and by the answer to the question 
whether such a thing has' ever been heard of before or 
not. They seem to forget that precedents must be 
created some time or another, and that the 'nineteenth 
century has as good a right to create precedents as any 
of its predecessors. To these people every objection that 
could be urged against Confederation was exaggerated and 
magnified, and whenever any proposal was made which 
seemed to tend towards the union of the Colonies their 
voices were heard upon the other side. We need not 
doubt the honesty or loyalty of these objectors, or con- 
sider that they Were either unfavorable to British con- 
nection or to the building up of the Empire. It was 
merely their misfortune that constitutionally they were 
adverse to change, and co'uld not see any merit in a 
political movement which involved the idea of novelty. 


The principal advocate of Confederation in the Mari- 
time Provinces was Hon. Joseph Howe, a man of such 
ability and force of character that on a wider stage he 
might have risen to great eminence, and have been 
regarded as one of the world's mightiest statesmen. 
When we contrast the- noble figure of Joseph Howe with 
some of the nobodies who have been thrust into high 
office in England, even into the Premiership, it is impos- 
sible to restrain a regret that so great a man, one so 
imperial in his instincts and views, should have been 
condemned to spend his whole life in a small Province, 
and to become so dwarfed by : its party politics as for a 
time to lose his character as a statesman and sink to the 
level of a mean politician looking for office rather than 
for the good of his country. When the Confederation 
question came up for final discussion in the Maritime 
Provinces, Joseph Howe, who had awakened in these 
Provinces the desire for such a union, was found arrayed 
against it, and used all his eloquence and power to defeat 
the measure of which he had been himself the leading 
advocate, and which he had taught the people of Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick to consider essential to their 
well-being. No more striding instance than this can be 
recorded of the disastrous effect of small Provincial 
politics on the mind of a great man. 

The question of the politicial union of the British 
North American Provinces was brought up in the House 
of Assembly of Nova Scotia in 1854, and then the leaders 
of both parties, Hon. Mr. Johnston for the Conservatives, 


and Hon. Mr. Howe for the Liberals, united in advo- 
cating the measure and in depicting the advantage which 
would accrue from it not only to Nova Scotia.but to every 
British Province in North America. In 1858 the quest- 
ion of Confederation was brought up in the Parliament of 
Canada, and such a union was made a part of the policy 
of the government, for Mr. A. T. Gait, on becoming 
a member of the administration, insisted upon it being 
made a Cabinet question, and Sir Edward Head, the 
Governor General, in his speech at the close of the session, 
intimated that his government would take action iu the 
matter during the recess. Messrs. Cartier, Gait and Ross, 
who were in England, representing the government of 
Canada, waited upon the Colonial Secretary, Sir Edward 
Bulwer Lytton, asking the authority of the Imperial 
government for the meeting of representatives from each 
of the Colonies to take the question of union into con- 
sideration, but met with a rebuff, which no doubt was the 
result of a conference with the other members of the 
government on the subject. The Earl of Derby, whose 
on afterwards became Governor General of the Dominion 
of Canada, was then Prime Minister, and his government 
had no inclination at that time to enter into so vast a 
question as the union of the British North American 
Colonies. The Colonial Secretary informed the Canadian 
delegates that the question of Confederation was necess- 
arily one of an Imperial character and declined to authorize 
the meeting, because no expression of sentiment on the 
subject had been received from any of the Maritime 


Provinces except Nova Scotia. The Earl of Derby's 
government fell a few months after this declaration of its 
policy in regard to the Colonies, and was succeeded by the 
government of Lord Palmerston, which was in office at 
the time when the negotiations, which resulted in the 
Confederation of the Colonies, were commenced. At first 
Lord Palmerston's government seemed to have been no 
more favorable to the union of the Colonies than its prede- 
cessor ; for in 1862 the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial 
Secretary, in a despatch to the Governor General of 
Canada, after stating that Her Majesty's government was 
not prepared to announce any definite policy on the 
question of Confederation, added that " If a union, either 
partial or complete, should hereafter be proposed, with the 
concurrence of all the Provinces to be united, I am sure that 
the matter would be weighed in this country both by the 
public, by Parliament and by her Majesty's government, 
with no other feeling than an anxiety to discern and 
promote any course which might be the most conducive 
to the prosperity, strength and harmony of all the British 
communities of North America." It must always be a 
subject of astonishment that the British government for so 
many years should have had no definite policy on a matter 
so momentous, and that they should have sought to dis- 
courage, rather than otherwise, the project which has been 
of such vast importance to the Empire as a consolidating 
force, not only by the manner in which Canada itself has 
been made to serve Imperial needs, but also for the 
example which it showed to other Colonies of the way in 


which they could preserve their connection with the 
mother country, and at the same time enjoy freedom of 
action in the administration of their affairs, while acquiring 
that consideration and respect which is due to strength 
and unity. 

The first impulse in favor of Confederation in the 
minds of the members of Lord Palmerston's Cabinet 
seems to have developed .about the time when it became 
evident that the result of the civil war in the United 
States would be the defeat of the southern Confederacy 
and the consolidation of the power of the great republic 
in a more effectual union than that which had existed 
before. No one who was not blind could fail to see that 
this change of attitude on the part of the United States 
would demand a corresponding change in relation to the 
British Colonies towards each other; for from being a mere 
federation of States, so loosely connected that secession 
was frequently threatened by States both north and south, 
the United States, as the result of the war, had become a 
nation with a strong central government which had taken 
to itself powers never contemplated by the constitution 
and which added immensely to its offensive and defen- 
sive strength. In 1863, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a 
member, of the Canadian Cabinet and a man of great 
eloquence and ability, visited St. John and delivered a 
lecture in the Mechanics' Institute hall on the subject of 
the union of the Colonies. His lecture was fully reported 
in the " Morning News," a paper then published in 
that city, arjd attracted a wide degree of attention because 


it opened up a new subject of interest for the contem- 
plation of the people of the Provinces. Shortly afterwards 
a series of articles -on the same subject, written by the 
author of this book, appeared in the columns of the 
"Morning News," and were widely read and quoted. 
These articles followed closely the lines laid down for the 
union of the Colonies by the late Peter S. Hamilton, a 
writer of ability, whose articles on the subject were 
collected in pamphlet . forni and extensively circulated. 
Thus in various ways the public mind was being educated 
on the question of Confederation, and the doctrine that the 
union of the British North American Colonies was de- 
sirable was generally accepted by the persons who gave 
any attention to the subject. It was only when the 
matter came up in a practical form, and as a distinct 
proposition to be carried into effect, that the violent 
opposition which afterwards developed itself against 
Confederation began to be shown. 

The failure of the negotiation for the construction of 
. the Intercolonial Kailway had convinced the people of 
New Brunswick that there was nothing to be hoped for at 
that time in regard to the completion of that great work. 
Their minds, therefore, were naturally turned towards 
obtaining railway connection with the United States, and 
completing the original scheme of the European and North 
American Kailway, which was designed to run from Hali- 
fax to Bangor by way of St. John, and there connect with 
the railway system of the United States. The govern- 
ment of Nova Scotia had already constructed as a part of 


that work the line from Halifax to Truro, while the 
government of New Brunswick had built the line from 
Shediac to St. John, but the portion between Moncton and 
Truro, which was necessary to connect with Halifax, and 
the portion between St. John and Bangor, which was 
necessary to connect with the United States, still re- 
mained unbuilt, and indeed no step had been taken 
towards its construction. In St. John a demand arose for 
the construction of the railway to the Maine border as a 
government work, it being understood that the line from 
Bangor to the New Brunswick boundary, "would be built 
if our people would meet the Maine people on the 
border." A numerously signed petition was sent up to the 
government on the subject, at the session of 1864, and 
such a strong pressure was brought to bear upon the 
administration that it was clear something had to be 
done to assuage the threatened storm and to give the 
people of the Province such railway facilities as they 
demanded. It was clearly impossible for the government 
to comply with the request of the St. John people and 
their representatives, unless something was done also to 
aid railway construction in other parts of the Province. 
There always has been in New Brunswick a very con- 
siderable amount of sectional jealousy on such subjects, 
and it was not to be supposed that the people of the North 
Shore and up river counties would view with com- 
placency the proposal to expend a very large sum of 
money in building the railway to the Maine boundary, 
while nothing was being done to enable them to obtain 


railway facilities. Under these circumstances the govern- 
ment resolved upon the introduction of a Eailway Facility 
Act, giving a bonus of SI 0,000 a mile for the construction 
of certain railways. The lines embraced in this Act were 
a line from St. John to the Maine border, with a branch to 
Fredericton ; a line from St. Stephen to the St. Andrews 
line, and from the terminus of that line to Woodstock ; a 
line from some point between Moncton and Shediac to the 
Nova Scotia boundary ; a line from some point on the 
European and North American Railway to Hillsboro and 
Hopewell ; and a line from Moncton north to the Mira- 

This bill, when it made its appearance in the House of 
Assembly was considered by the opposition to be a very 
absurd measure, and some of the wits of that side of the 
House named it the Lobster Act, because its provisions 
seemed to extend to all parts of the Province, like the 
claws of a lobster. But the result has amply justified 
the wisdom of Mr. Tilley and his colleagues, by whom 
the Act was framed and carried in the Legislature. The 
person who predicted that no railway would ever be built 
under it found that they had greatly mistaken the temper 
and enterprise of our people ; because no sooner was it 
passed than measures were taken to render it operative. 
Under this act, in the course of a few years, the line was 
built to the Maine border with a branch to Fredericton ; 
the connection with Woodstock and St. Andrews was 
completed ; a line from Painsec Junction to Sackville was 
constructed, and also a line into Albert County. In fact 


practically all the lines contemplated by this Act have 
since been built, either under its terms, 'or in other ways 
which rendered the facilities it gave unnecessary. 

At the same session of the Legislature a highly im- 
portant subject was taken up which aided very materially 
in the movement which afterwards culminated in the 
confederation of the British North American Colonies. 
Resolutions were passed authorizing the government to 
eiiter into negotiations and hold a convention for the 
purpose of effecting the union of the Maritime Provinces. 
Similiar resolutions were carried in the Legislatures of 
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and the convention 
thus authorized was appointed to meet at Charlotte town, 
in the latter Province, in the month of September follow- 
ing. This movement for Maritime Union arose as the 
result of negotiations which had been going on for some 
time between the governments of Nova Scotia and New 

Previous to the year 1861 a number of factories of 
various kinds had been established in the Maritime Pro- 
vinces, but the limited market they then enjoyed 
prevented their extension and crippled their operations. 
To remedy this, Mr. Tilley, with tne approval of his 
colleagues in the government, visited Nova Scotia and 
Prince Edward Island and proposed to the governments of 
both Provinces the free exchange of the manufactures of 
the three Provinces, free admission of their natural pro- 
ducts and a uniform tariff on dutiable goods. In Halifax 
he had a lengthy and satisfactory conference with Mr. 


Howe, the then leader of the government, and with Dr. 
Tapper, the leader of the opposition. Both gentle- 
men agreed that the proposed arrangements would be in 
the interests of the three Provinces, and Mr. Howe agreed 
to submit the matter to his government with the view of 
legislative action at the next session. Mr. Tilley then 
proceeded to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. At 
the conference held with the government there his pro- 
posal was not so favorably entertained, the objection being 
that the then tariff of Prince Edward Island was lower 
than the tariff of either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, 
and sufficient for the financial wants of the Island, and 
that the necessary advance would be imposing taxation 
beyond their requirements. Notwithstanding the failure 
to secure the co-operation of the Island government it was 
decided that the joint action of the Nova Scotia and New 
Brunswick Legislatures in the direction named was 
desirable. When the Nova Scotia Legislature met and 
the public accounts were proposed, it was found that a 
reduction of the tariff was not practical, and Mr. Howe 
informed Mr. Tilley that the scheme would have to be 
postponed, though in other respects desirable. One of the 
objects of the conference later on, to consider the union of 
the Maritime Provinces, was the securing of the trade 
arrangements proposed by the conference referred to. The 
step taken in 1861 led up to the larger questions pre- 
sented in 1864. 

fAnother event occurred in the summer of 1864 which 
had its effect on the question of Confederation. Up to 


that time the people of Canada and New Brunswick had 
been almost wholly unknown to each other because the 
difficulties of travelling between the two Provinces were 
_ij. so great. Any person who desired to reach Montreal at 
that time from St. John, had to take the International 
steamer to Portland and was then carried by the Grand 
Trunk Eailway to his destination. Quebec could be reached 
in summer by the steamer from Pictou which called at 
Shediac,\but in winter the journey had to be made by the 
Grand Trunk Eailway from Portland, the only alternative 
route being the road by which the mails were carried 
from Edmundston north to the St. Lawrence. LjJnder 
these circumstances the people of the Canadian Provinces 
had but few opportunities of seeing each other, and the peo- 
ple of both Provinces knew much more of their neighbors 
in the United States than they did of their fellow Colonists.j 
\0ne result of Hon. D'Arcy McGee's visit in 1863 was an 
invitation by the City of St. John to the Legislature of 
Canada to visit the Maritime Provinces. The invitation 
was accepted and a party of about a hundred, comprisiDg 
a number of the members of the Legislature, newspaper 
men and others, visited St. John in the beginning of 
August, 1864. Their trip was extended to Fredericton, 
where they were the guests of the government of New 
Brunswick, and to Halifax where they were the guests of 
that city and of the government of Nova Scotia. This 
visit produced a good effect upon the public mind and 
enabled our people to see what kind of men their fellow 

Colonists of Upper and Lower Canada wereT] 



In the meantime a great crisis had arisen in the govern- 
ment of Canada which was the immediate cause of the 
active part which that Province took in the Confederation 
movement. When Upper and Lower Canada were united 
in 1841 it was arranged that the representation of each 
Province in the united Legislature should be equal. The 
arrangement at that time was favorable to Upper 
Canada, which had a smaller population than Lower 
Canada, but in the course of time as the population of 
Upper Canada increased faster than that of the Lower 
Province, the people of Upper Canada felt that they had 
much less representation than they were fairly entitled 
to, and this state of affairs raised a cry of "Eepresentation 
by Population" which was so often heard in that Province 
prior to the era of Confederation. In 1864 Upper Canada 
had half a million more people than Lower Canada, and 
yet was only entitled to the same number of members in 
the Legislature. Another serious difficulty, which arose 
out of the Act of Union, was the necessity of the govern- 
ment having a majority in the Legislature of each Prov- 
ince, This in time grew to be so flagrant an evil that 
the successful government of Canada became almost im- 
possible, for the majority for the government in one 
Province might at any time be disturbed by some local 
feeling of jealousy, and as a consequence the government 
overthrown. To trace the history of the difficulties which 
arose from this cause would be to recite twenty years of 
the history of Canada, but it is only necessary to point 
out thus plainly the reasons for the willingness of the 


people of Upper and Lower Canada to resort to Confeder- 
ation as a means of getting rid of their embarrassments. 
In 1863 the Hon. John Saufield McDonald was leader 
of the government, but he was compelled to resign when 
Parliament met in the early part of 1864, and in March 
of that year a new administration under the Premiership 
of Sir E. P. Tache was formed. This new government 
developed very little strength and was threatened with 
defeat. But on the 14th of June, the following entry is 
found in the journals of the Legislature of Canada : 

"The Hon. Mr. Brown from the select committee appointed to 
enquire into the important subjects embraced in a despatch to 
the Colonial minister, addressed to him on the 2nd of February, 
1864, by the Hon. Geo. E. Cartier, the Hon. A. T. Gait, and the 
Hon. John Ross, then members of the Executive Council of the 
Province, while in London acting on behalf of the government of 
which they were members, in which they declared that very 
grave difficulties now present themselves in conducting the gov- 
ernment of Canada in such a manner as to show due regard to the 
wishes of its numerous population ; that ' differences exist to an 
extent which prevents any perfect and complete assimilation of 
the views of the two sections ; ' that the progress of population 
has been more rapid in the western section, and claims are now 
being made on behalf of its inhabitants for giving them represen- 
tation in the Legislature according to their numbers; that the 
result is shewn by an agitation, fraught with great danger, to the 
peaceful and harmonious working of our constitutional system, 
and consequently detrimental to the progress of the Province, and 
that the necessity of providing a remedy for a state of things that 
is yearly becoming worse, and of allaying feelings that are daily 
being aggravated by the contention of political parties, has im- 
pressed the advisers of Her Majesty's representative in Canada 
with the importance of seeking such a mode of dealing with the 
difficulties as may forever remove them; and the best means of 
remedying the evils therein set forth, presented to the House 


the report of said committee, which was read as followeth : ' That 
the committee have held eight meetings, and have endeavored to 
find some solution for existing difficulties likely to receive the 
assent of both sections of the Province.' A strong feeling was 
found to exist among the members of the committee in favor of 
changes in the direction of a federation system applied either to 
Canada alone or to the whole of the British North American 
Provinces, and such progress has been made as to warrant the 
committee in recommending that the subject be again referred to 
a committee at the next session of Parliament. 

The whole respectfully submitted, 



On the same day that this entry was made the Tache 
government was defeated by a vote of 60 to 58, on a 
question relative to some transaction connected with 
bonds of the City of Montreal. A deadlock had come 
and, as it was evident that no new government which 
could be formed was likely to command sufficient sup- 
port, it became a necessity to make some new arrange- 
ments in regard to the system of administration. Imme- 
diately after the defeat of the government, Mr. George 
Brown, leader of the opposition, spoke to several sup- 
porters of the administration, strongly urging that the 
present time should be utilized for the" purpose of settling 
forever the constitutional difficulties between Upper and 
Lower Canada, and assuring them that he was prepared 
to co-operate with the existing or any other administra- 
tion that would deal with the question promptly and 
firmly, with a view to its final settlement. Messrs. 
Morris and Pope, to whom he spoke, asked and obtained 
leave to communicate this conversation to Mr. John A. 


Macdonald, the Attorney General, and Mr. Gait. Messrs. 
Brown, Macdonald and Gait met on June 17th at the St, 
Louis Hotel and discussed the situation. Mr. Brown 
stated that nothing but the extreme urgency of the crisis 
and the hope of settling the sectional difficulties of the 
Province would, in his opinion, justify him in meeting 
with the members of the government, with a view to 
common political action. He was informed by Messrs. 
Gait and Macdonald that they were charged by their 
colleagues formally to invite his aid in strengthening the 
administration, with a view to the settlement of those 
difficulties. Mr. Brown stated that it was quite impos- 
sible for him to become a member of any administration 
then, and that he thought the public mind would be 
shocked by such an arrangement; but he felt very 
strongly that the crisis presented an opportunity of deal- 
ing with this question that might never occur again. He 
thought that another general election presented no pros- 
pect of a much altered result, and he believed that both 
political parties were better prepared than ever before to 
look the true cause 01 all the difficulties in the face, and 
endeavor to settle' the representation question on an 
equitable and permanent basis. Mr. Brown added that, 
if the administration were prepared to do this and would 
pledge themselves clearly and publicly to bring in a 
measure next session that would be acceptable to Upper 
Canada,- he would heartily co-operate with them and en- 
deavor to induce his friends to sustain them until they 
had an opportunity of presenting their measure. Mr. 


Macdonald thought that it would be necessary for Mr. 
Brown himself to become a member of the Cabinet, with 
a view to give guarantees to the opposition and to the 
country of the earnestness of the government. In reply 
to a question by Mr. Brown as to what the government 
proposed as a remedy for the injustice complained of by 
Upper Canada, Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Gait replied 
that their remedy was a federal union of the British North 
American Provinces. Mr. Brown replied that this would 
not be acceptable to the people of Upper Canada as a 
remedy for existing evils ; that he believed that the fed- 
eration of all the Provinces ought to come and would 
come, but it had not been thoroughly considered by the 
people, and there were so many parties to be consulted 
that its adoption was uncertain and remote. He proposed 
as an alternative remedy parliamentary reform based on 
population, without regard to the dividing line between 
Upper and Lower Canada. 

Mr. Brown's proposal was declared to be impossible by 
both Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Gait and after much discus- 
sion it was found that a compromise might be had in the 
adoption either of the Federal principle for all the British 
North American Provinces or for Canada alone, with 
provision for the admission of the Maritime Provinces 
and the North Western Territory, when they should 
express the desire. After some further negotiations, Mr. 
Brown requested to have the views of the administration 
as expressed to him reduced to writing, for the purpose of 
being submitted confidentially to his friends. This was 


done, and the result was the following Memorandum to 
which Mr. Brown gave his assent : 

The government are prepared to pledge themselves to bring in 
a measure next session for the purpose of removing existing 
difficulties, by introducing the federal principle into Canada, 
coupled with such provision as will permit the Maritime Pro- 
vinces and the North West Territory to be incorporated into the 
same system of government. 

And the government will seek, by sending representatives to 
the Lower Provinces and to England, to secure the assent of those 
interests which are beyond the control of our own legislation, to 
such a measure as may enable all British North America to be 
united under a general Legislature based upon the federal prin- 

Mr. Brown was very reluctant to enter the Cabinet 
for the purpose of carrying out this proposal, but his 
presence in it was considered indispensable, and on the 
thirtieth of June when the House was prorogued a new 
government was announced of which the Hon. George 
Brown and Messrs. Mowatt and MacDougall, two other 
prominent Eeformers, were members, they having taken 
the place of Messrs. Foley, Buchanan and Simpson in 
the existing administration. Thus a coalition had been 
formed between the leaders of the Eeform and Conservative 
parties, for the purpose of carrying a measure for the 
confederation of the British Provinces of North America, 
It is easy to see from the tenor of the negotiations that 
nothing short of the emergency which had arisen in Can- 
ada could have induced the leaders of the Reform party 
there to join with Conservatives in this movement, nor 
is it likelv that the latter would have troubled them- 


selves about the matter had they not been influenced by 
the same motive. The necessities of Canada, in a polit- 
ical sense, alone brought about the existence of the present 
great Dominion which stretches from ocean to ocean. 

The delegates appointed by the government of New 
Brunswick for the purpose of representing this Province at 
Charlottetown in the convention for a union of the Mar- 
itime Provinces, were the Hon. Messrs. Tilley, Steeves, 
Johnson, Chandler and Gray. The first three were 
members of the government, while Messrs. Gray and 
Chandler were leading members of the opposition, so that 
the arrangement had the assent of the leaders of both 
political parties and was in no sense a party movement. 
The Nova Scotia delegation consisted of Hon. Chas. 
Tupper, the leader of the government, the Attorney Gen- 
eral, Mr. Henry, and Mr. Dickey, a Conservative sup- 
porter, and also the Hon. Adam G. Archibald and 
Jonathan McCulley, leaders of the Liberal party. The 
Prince Edward Island delegates were also chosen from 
both sides of politics. The convention was opened in due 
form at Charlottetown on September 8th, in the chamber 
of the House of Assembly. The delegations had no 
power to decide finally on any subject, because any 
arrangements they made were necessarily subject to the 
approval of the Legislatures of the three Maritime 
Provinces. But at this time the sentiment in favor of 
Maritime union was so strong it was confidently believed 
that whatever was agreed upon at Charlottetown would 
become the basis of a future union. 


The government of Canada had full knowledge of 
what was going on at Charlottetown, and they considered 
the time opportune for the purpose of bringing to the 
notice of the delegates from the Maritime Provinces the 
subject of a confederation of all the British North Am- 
erican colonies. A telegram was received while the 
delegates were in session announcing that representatives 
of the government of Canada had left Quebec for the 
purpose of meeting the delegates of the Maritime 
Provinces, and placing certain proposals before them, 
and on the receipt of this message the further con- 
sideration of the question which they had met to 
discuss was deferred until after the Canadian dele- 
gates had arrived. They came in the government 
steamer "Victoria" on the day following the receipt of the 
telegram announcing their departure, and were found to 
embrace the leading men then in Canadian public life, 
the Hons. J. A. Macdonald, George Brown, George E. 
Cartier, Alex. T. Gait, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Hector 
L. Langevin, William MacDougall and Alex. Campbell. 
Those delegates represented the Reform as well as the 
Conservative party, and were therefore able to speak 
with authority with regard to the views of the people of 
both Upper and Lower Canada. They were accorded 
seats in the convention, and at once submitted their 
reasons why in their opinion a scheme of union, embrac- 
ing the whole of the British North American colonies, 
should be adopted. The Hon. John A. Macdonald and 
Messrs. Brown and Cartier were heard on this subject, 


the financial position of Canada was explained, and the 
sources of revenue and wealth of the several Provinces 
were discussed. Speeches were also made by Messrs. 
Gait, McGee, Langevin and MacDougall, and after having 
commanded the attention of the convention for two days 
the Canadian deputation withdrew. Before doing so they 
had proposed that if the convention concluded to suspend 
its deliberations upon the question of Maritime Union, 
they should adjourn to Quebec at an early day to be 
named by the Governor General, to consider the question 
of Confederation. On the following day the convention 
adjourned upon the ground that it would be more for the 
general interest of British North America to adopt the 
larger union than a mere union of the Maritime Provinces, 
and it was thought that this might be effected without 
any very great difficulty, for there was then no strong 
feeling evinced in any quarter against Confederation. 

From Charlottetown the members of the convention and 
the Canadian deputation went to Halifax, where they 
were received most cordially and entertained at a banquet 
at the Halifax hotel. They then took their departure for 
St. John where they were entertained at a public dinner 
at which many leading men of the city were present. The 
chair was occupied by the Hon. John H. Gray, one of 
the delegates, and the expressions in favor of the proposed 
confederation were strong and hearty. No one could 
have suspected at that time that the movement for Con- 
federation would meet with so much opposition in New 
Brunswick. All seemed plain sailing, but, as the result 


showed, the battle for Confederation had yet to be fought 
and it was only won after a long and doubtful struggle. 

According to arrangement the delegations from the 
other provinces met in Convention at Quebec on the 10th 
of October, all the colonies, including Newfoundland, were 
represented and the delegates were as follows: 

Canada Hon. Sir Etienne P. Tache, Premier M. L. C.; 
Hon. John A. Macdonald, Attorney General West, M. P. 
P. ; Hon. George E. Cartier, Attorney General East, M. 
P. P. ; Hon. George Brown, President of the Executive 
Council, M. P. P., Hon. Alex. T. Gait, Finance Minister, 
M. P. P., Hon. Alex. Campbell, Commissioner of Crown 
Lands, M. L. C. ; Hon. William MacDougall, Provincial 
Secretary, M. P. P., Hon. Thomas D'Arcy McGee, 
Minister of Agriculture, M. P. P., Hon. Hector Langevin, 
Solicitor General East, M. P. P., Hon. J. Cockburn, Solici- 
tor General West, M. P. P.. Hon. Oliver Mowatt, Post 
Master General, M. P. P., Hon. J. C. Chapais, Commis- 
sioner of Public Works, M. L. C. 

Nova Scotia Hon. Chas. Tupper, Provincial Secretary, 
M. P. P., Hon. W. A. Henry, Attorney General, M. P. P., 
Hon. E. B. Dickey, M. L. C., Hon. Adam G. Archibald, 
M. P. P., Hon. Jonathan McCully, M. L. C. 

New Brunswick Hon. Samuel L. Tilley, Provincial 
Secretary, M. P. P., Hon. John M. Johnson, Attorney 
General, M. P. P., Hon. Edward B. Chandler, M. L. C., 
Hon. John Hamilton Gray, M. P. P., Hon. Peter Mitchell, 
M. L. C., Hon. Chas. Fisher, M. P. P., Hon. William H. 
Steeves, M. L. C. 


Newfoundland Hon. F. B. T. Carter, M. P. P., Speaker 
of the House of Assembly, Hon. Ambrose Shea, M. P. P. 

Prince Edward Island Hon. John Hamilton Gray, 
Premier, M. P. P. ; Hon. Edward Palmer, Attorney Gen- 
eral, M. P. P. ; Hon. W. H. Pope, Provincial Secretary, 
M. P. P. ; Hon. George Coles, M. P. P. ; Hon. A. A. 
Macdonald, M. L. C. ; Hon. T. H. Haviland, M. P. P. ; 
Hon. Edward Whelan, M. L.' C. 

Sir Etienne P. Tache, who was then Premier of Canada, 
was unanimously chosen President of the conference, and 
Major Hewitt Bernard, of the staff of the Attorney General 
West, Private and Confidential Secretary. It was 
arranged that the convention should hold its meetings 
with closed doors, and it was laid down as a principle of 
the discussion, that as the matters to come up for debate 
were all of a novel character, no man should be prejudiced 
or held liable to the charge of inconsistency because he 
had changed his views in regard to any particular matter 
in the course of the discussion. It was also agreed 
that the vote, in case of a division, should be by 
Provinces and not by numbers, Canada having two votes, 
representing Canada East and Canada West, and each of 
the other Provinces one. This arrangement made it quite 
certain that the interests of the Maritime Provinces were 
not likely to be prejudiced by the result of the vote or 
the work of the convention. It was soon decided that a 
federal union was to be preferred to a legislative union, 
and on the second day of the meeting the outlines of the 
proposed confederation were submitted in a series of reso- 


lutions by the Hon. John A. Macdonald. The general 
model of the proposed confederation was that of the 
United States, but with this difference, that whereas in 
the United States all powers, not expressly given by the 
constitution to the federal government, are held to 
belong to the several states, in the Canadian con- 
titution all powers not expressly reserved to the several 
Provinces were held to belong to the federal parliament. 
Thus in the United States the residuum of power is in the 
several states, and in Canada the residuum of power is in 
the federal union, and in the Parliament of the Dominion. 
No doubt the recent example of the civil war in the 
United States, which was the result of an extreme asser- 
tion of state rights, was largely responsible for this feature 
of the Canadian constitution. It is clear, however, that 
it is a feature that is to be commended, because its ten- 
dency is to cause Canadians to regard themselves rather 
as Canadians than as belonging to any particular 
Province, while in the United States the feeling of state- 
hood is still very strong, as has been shown by recent 
events in that country, and in the discussion of such 
matters as the silver question, which at some future time 
may become as dangerous to the unity of the Republic as 
the slavery question once was. There are, of course, 
many other contrasts between the Canadian Confederation 
and the federal union of the United States, arising from 
radical differences in the system of government. Nothing 
like responsible government, as understood in the British 
Empire, exists in the United States, while this essential 


feature had to be preserved in the Canadian constitution, 
not only with reference to the Dominion Parliament, but 
also in the Legislatures of the several Provinces. It is 
quite safe to assert that viewing the Confederation in all 
its aspects, it is a much more efficient and satisfactory 
form of government than that which exists in the United 
States, and that our Provincial governments are superior 
in every respect to the state governments of that country. 
It does not fall within the scope of this volume to deal 
exhaustively with the proceedings at Quebec in which 
Mr. Tilley, as the Finance Minister of New Brunswick, 
took a very prominent part. One great difficulty which 
arose was with respect to the amount of money to be 
given by the federal government to the several Provinces 
for Legislative purposes, in lieu of the revenue which 
they had been accustomed to obtain from customs duties 
and otherwise. The whole customs establishment 
was to be transferred to the central government, and as 
most of the Provinces would have no other means of 
obtaining a revenue except by direct taxation, this feature 
of the matter became of very vital importance. The 
difficulty was increased by the fact that by the municipal 
system then prevailing in Upper Canada, the local needs 
of the municipalities, in the way of roads, bridges, schools 
and other matters, were provided for by local taxation, 
whereas in the Maritime Provinces the Provincial gov- 
ernment had been accustomed to bear these burdens. It 
was therefore an essential requisite to any scheme of 
union, to make it acceptable to the people of the Mari- 


time Provinces, that sufficient money should be given to 
the Provincial governments to enable them to continue 
these services as before. It was difficult to convince the 
representatives of Upper Canada of this, and it appears 
that the conference came near breaking up without ar- 
riving at any result, simply because of the apparently 
irreconcilable differences of opinion between the repre- 
sentatives of the Maritime Provinces and those of Canada 
in regard to this point. Finally these differences were 
overcome, and the conclusions of the conference were 
embodied in a series of seventy-two resolutions, which 
were agreed to, and which were to be authenticated by 
the signatures of the delegates, and to be transmitted to 
their respective governments, and also to the Governor 
General, for the Secretary of State for the colonies. These 
resolutions formed the first basis of Confederation and 
became what is known as the Quebec scheme. 

It was perhaps inevitable that during the discussion 
of the scheme of Confederation by the Quebec convention, 
the proceedings should be secret, but this restriction as 
to secrecy should have been removed as soon as the 
convention adjourned. That this was not done was the 
principal reason for the very unfavorable reception which 
the Quebec scheme met with from the people of New 
Brunswick, when it was placed before them. It was 
agreed at the Quebec conference that the scheme should 
not be made public until after the delegates had reported 
to their respective governments for their approval, but it 
was impossible that a document, the terms of which were 


known to so many men, should be kept wholly concealed 
from the public, and so the details of the scheme leaked 
out and soon became a topic for public discussioii. These 
discussions would have been conducted in a much more 
friendly spirit if the Quebec scheme had been given freely 
to the world, but as it was, prejudices and jealousies in 
many cases darkened the question, and made men who 
were otherwise friendly to Confederation assume an atti- 
tude of hostility to the Quebec scheme. 

One of the points which at once attracted the attention 
of the opponents of the scheme was the sum allowed to 
the several Provinces for the purpose of conducting their 
local affairs. As the Provinces had to surrender to 
the general government their right to levy customs 
and excise duties, it became necessary to make up in 
some way a sum sufficient to enable them to carry on 
these services which were still left to the Provincial 
Legislatures. It was arranged that this sum should be 
eighty cents a head of the population of the Provinces, as 
established by the census of 1861, which would give to 
the Province of New Brunswick something more than 
$200,000. This feature of the Confederation scheme was 
eagerly seized upon as being a convenient club with 
which to strike it down. j_The cry was at once raised 
that the people of New Brunswick were asked to sell 
themselves to Canada for the sum of eighty cents a 
head, and this parrot-like cry was repeated with varia- 
tions throughout the whole of the election campaign 
which followed in New Brunswick. I It has often been 


found that a cry of this kind, which is absolutely mean- 
ingless when reduced to reason, is more effective than the 
most weighty arguments for the purpose of influencing 
men's minds, and this proved to be the case in New 
Brunswick, when the question of Confederation was placed 
before the people. It was conveniently forgotten by those 
who attacked the scheme in this fashion that if the people 
of New Brunswick were selling themselves to Canada 
for the sum of eighty cents a head, the people of Canada 
were likewise selling themselves to us for the same sum, 
because the amount set apart for the Provincial Legis- 
latures was precisely the same in each case. It would 
not however, have suited the enemies of the Confederation 
scheme to view the matter in this light ; what was wanted 
was a cry which would be effective for the purpose of 
injuring the scheme, and making it distasteful to our 
people who were asked to vote upon it. Ut is not necessary 
to assume that those who opposed Confederation were all 
influenced by sinister motives. Many honest and good 
men whose attachment to British institutions could not 
be questioned were opposed to it, because their minds 
were of a conservative turn, and because they looked 
with distrust upon such a radical change which would 
alter the relations which existed between the Province and 
the mother country. Many, for reasons which it is not 
easy to understand, were distrustful of the politicians of 
Canada, whom they looked upon as of less sterling honesty 
than our own, and some actually professed to believe that 
the Canadians expected to make up their financial deficits 


by drawing on the many resources of the Maritime Pro- 
vinces through the Confederation scheme. On the other 
hand Confederation was opposed in the Province of New 
Brunswick by a number of men who could only be dis- 
cribed as adventurers or discredited politicians, and who 
saw in this contest a convenient way of restoring them- 
selves to influence and power. There were also among 
the opponents of the scheme some men who recognized iu 
its success the means of perpetrating British power on this 
continent, and who being annexationists naturally looked 
with aversion upon it for that reason. The vast majority 
of the people, however, had given the matter but the 
slightest degree of attention, and their votes were cast in 
accordance with prejudices hastily formed which they had 
an opportunity of reconsidering before amother year and 
a half had elapsedj 

It had been arranged at the convention" that the first 
trial of the scheme before the people should be made in 
the Province of New Brunswick, the Legislature of which 
was about expiring, and accordingly the appeal was made 
to the people and the elections came on in the month of 
March, 1865. [The enemies of Confederation were 
very active in every part of the Province, and they left 
no stone unturned to defeat the measure. The great cry 
upon which they based their opposition to the union with 
Canada was that of taxation, and, as the voters of New 
Brunswick were not inclined to favor any policy which 
involved high taxation, the appeals made in this way had 
a powerful effect. All through the rural constituencies the 


opposition candidates told the electors that if they united 
themselves with Canada direct taxation would be the im- 
mediate result. That every cow, every horse and every 
sheep which they owned would be taxed, and that even 
their poultry would not escape the grasp of the Canadian 
tax gatherers!] In the City of St. John Mr. Tilley and 
his colleague, Mr. Charles Watters, were opposed by Mr. 
J. V. Troop and Mr. A. E. Wetmore. Mr. Troop was a 
wealthy shipowner, whose large means made him an 
acceptable addition to the strength of the anti-Confederate 
party, although previously he had taken no active part in 
political affairs. Mr. Wetmore was a lawyer of standing 
in St. John, who was considered to be one of the best nisi 
prius advocates at the bar, and who carried the methods 
of the bar largely into his politics. |Mr. Wetmore never 
pretended to have any political principles, or any views 
whatever of a fixed character in regard to Confederation, 
or any other political subject. Indeed it was his boast 
on a later occasion that, as he had been on both 
sides of the Confederation question he had the as- 
surance that he was at least right once"T7 He rushed 
into the contest for the purpose of bettering his 
own fortunes, and he succeeded in doing so by becom- 
ing in the course of time Attorney General of the 
Province, and later on a judge of the Supreme Court. 
Mr. Wetmore when haranguing St. John audiences used 
to depict the dreadful effects of Confederation in a manner 
peculiarly his own. His great plea was an imaginary 
dialogue between himself and his little son, that precoci- 


ous infant asking him in lisping tones, "Father what 
country do we live in ?" to which he would reply "My 
dear son you have no country, for Mr. Tilley has sold us 
all to the Canadians for eighty cents a head." 

In the county of St. John the Hon. John H. Gray, 
Ohas. N. Skinner, W. H. Scovil and Mr. Quinton, who 
ran as supporters of Confederation, were opposed by John 
W. Cudlip,' T. W. Anglin, the Hon. R. D. Wilmot and 
Joseph Coram. Mr. Cudlip was a merchant who at one 
time enjoyed much popularity in the city of St. John, but 
who was wholly unfit for political life. Mr. Cudlip was an 
impulsive man, easily carried away by his feelings, and 
after Confederation had become a fixed fact, he so far 
forgot himself as to become an open advocate of annexa- 
tion to the United States. He enjoys the distinction of 
being the only member of our Legislature who has ever 
moved a resolution in that body in favor of annexation. 
Mr. Anglin was a clever Irishman, a native of the County 
of Cork, who had lived several years in St. John and 
edited a newspaper called the Freeman, which enjoyed a 
great popularity among his co-religionists. Mr. Anglin 
was admitted to be the leader of the Irish Catholics of St. 
John and had acquired an ascendancy over them which 
was not easily shaken. Yet he was not as a politician 
a great success, nor did his efforts to improve the condition 
of his countrymen always lead to satisfactory results. 
The Hon. R. D. Wilmot had been a prominent Conserva- 
tive politician, but was defeated and had retired to his 
farm at Belmont, and for some years had been devoting 


his abilities to the raising of calves and swine. But at the 
first note of alarm on the Confederation question he 
abandoned his agricultural pursuits and rushed into the 
field to take part in the contest, which he thought might 
inure to his political advantage. Mr. Joseph Coram 
was a leading Orangeman, a highly respected citizen, 
whose sole claim to distinction was that he had person- 
ated King William in an Orange procession which had 
resulted in a riot some years before, and that his features 
were supposed to resemble those of the Prince, whose 
memory the Orange body has been created to honor. 
| In the County of York the Hon. George L. JHathewax, 
^rho was then Chief Commissioner of the Board of Works, 
appeared in the field as an opposition candidate, in com- 
pany with John C. Allen, John J. Eraser and William 
H. Needham. Mr. Hatheway deserted the government 
in its hour of need, apparently through mere cowardice, 
because he judged from the cries that were raised against 
Confederation that the current of public opinion was 
strongly adverse to the Quebec scheme. He thought that 
by deserting his colleagues he might retain his office in 
the new government which was to be formed, and in this 
view he was correct, but the final result showed that he 
was as ready to desert his new allies as he had been those 
with whom he had been before associated. He left Mr. 
Tilley in the lurch on the eve of the Confederation con- 
test, and he deserted the Smith government sixteen 
months later when the second Confederation election 
came to be run, thereby inflicting upon them a blow from 


which it was impossible they could recover. Hatheway 
was nothing more than a loud-mouthed demagogue, with 
a large body and a small hearU William H. Needham, 
whose name has already appeared in this volume, did not 
pretend to have any political principles, but having been 
for some time retired to private life, the Confederation 
struggle gave him a good opportunity of getting into the 
Legislature. Needham was a man of very considerable 
ability, and had his principles been only equal to his 
knowledge and talents he would have risen to the highest 
position in this Province. But his shifty course on many 
occasions made the public distrustful of him, and 
he died without having enjoyed any of those honors 
which men of far less ability, but of more political 
honesty, have obtained. John James Fraser, now 
Governor of this Province, was a man of a different 
stamp, and seems to have been a sincere opponent of 
Confederation from conviction. The same may be said 
of John C. Allen, now Chief Justice of this Pro- 
vince, a man whose sterling honesty has never been 

The result of the election was the most overwhelming 
defeat that ever overtook any political party in the Pro- 
vince of New Brunswick. Out of forty-one members the 
friends of Confederation only suceeded in returning six, 
Hon. John McMillan and Alexander C. DesBrisay for the 
county of Restigouche ; Abner R. McLellan and John 
Lewis for the county of Albert, and William Lindsay and 
Charles Council for the county of Carleton. Every 


member of the government who held a seat in the House 
of Assembly, with the exception of the Hon. John 
McMillan, the Surveyor General, was defeated. The 
majorities against the Confederation candidates in some of 
the counties were so large that it seemed hopeless to ex- 
pect that any future election would reverse the verdict. 
Both the City and County of St. John and the County of 
York made a clean sweep and returned solid delegations 
of anti-Confederates. With the exception of the two 
Carleton members, the entire block of counties on the 
River St. John and the County of Charlotte, forming the 
most populous and best settled part of the Province, de- 
clared against the Quebec scheme. On the North shore, 
Westmorland, Kent, Northumberland and Gloucester, pro- 
nounced the same verdict, and on the day after the elec- 
tion the strongest friends of Confederation must have felt 
that nothing but a miracle could ever bring about a change 
in the opinion which had been pronounced with such 
emphasis and with such apparent unanimity. Yet fifteen 
months later the verdict of March, 1865, was complete- 
ly reversed, and the anti-Confederates were beaten as 
badly as the advocates of Confederation had been in the 
, first election ; such are the mutations of public opinion. 

Mr. Tilley and his colleagues resigned immediately after 
the result of the elections, and the Hon. Albert J. 
Smith was called upon to form a new government. 
Mr. Smith had been Attorney General in Mr, 
Tilley's government up to the year 1862, when 
he resigned in consequence of a difference with 


his colleagues in regard to the negotiations which 
were being carried on for the construction of the 
Intercolonial Railway. Mr. Smith was a fine speaker 
and a man of good ability, and at a later period when 
Confederation had been established, became a Cabinet 
Minister in the government of the Hon. Alex. McKenzie. 
His powerful inlluence was largely responsible for the 
manner in which the North shore counties declared 
against Confederation, and he also did much to discredit 
the Quebec scheme by his speeches delivered in the City 
of St. John. Mr. Smith did not take the office of 
Attorney General in the new government, but contented 
himself with the position of President of the Council, 
Hon. John C. Allan, of York, becoming Attorney Gen- 
eral, and Hon. A. H. Gilmour, of Charlotte, becoming 
Provincial Secretary. The Hon. Bliss Botsford, of West- 
morland, was made Surveyor General, the Hon. W. H. 
Odell Postmaster General; and the Hon. George L. 
Hatheway retained his old office as the Chief Commis- 
sioner of the Board of Works. The other members of 
the government were the Hon. Robert Duncan Wilmot 


of Sunbury, the Hon. T. W. Anglin of St. John, and the 
Hon. Richard Hutchinson of Miramichi. The new gov- 
ernment looked strong and imposing, and seemed to be 
secure against the assaults of its enemies, yet it was far 
from being as compact and powerful as it appeared to the 
outward observer. In the first place it had the demerit 
of being founded solely on a negative, and upon oppos- 
ition to a single line of policy. The reason why these 


men were assembled together in council as a government 
was that they were opposed to Confederation, and this 
question having been disposed of left them free to differ 
upon all other points which might arise. Some of the 
men who thus found themselves sitting together at the 
same council board had all their lives been politically 
opposed to each other. The Hon. E. D. Wilmot, an old 
Conservative, could have little or no sympathy with Mr. 
A. H. Gilmour, a very strong Liberal. The Hon. A. J. 
Smith, also a Liberal, had little in common with his 
Attorney General, Mr. Allen, who was a Conservative. 
Mr. Odell, the Postmaster General, represented the old 
family compact more thoroughly than any other man 
who could have been chosen to fill a public office in New 
Brunswick, for his father and grandfather had held the 
office of Provincial Secretary for the long term of sixty 
years. As he was a man of no particular capacity, and 
had no qualification for high office, and as he was more- 
over a member of the Legislative Council, his appointment 
to such a position was extremely distasteful to many who 
were strongly opposed to Confederation. The Hon. Bliss 
Botsford of Moncton, who became Surveyor General, was 
another individual who added no strength to the govern- 
ment, being hopelessly dull by nature, and however 
honest in his intention, wholly unable to outline or even 
follow intelligently any distinct line of policy. With 
four men in the government who might be classed as 
Liberals, and five who might be properly described as 
Conservatives, room was left for many differences and 


quarrels over points of policy after the great question of 
Confederation had been disposed of. Local feelings also 
were awakened by the make up of the government, for 
the North Shore people could not but feel that their 
interests had been grossly neglected, as instead of having 
the Attorney Generalship and the Surveyor Generalship 
which had been theirs in the previous government, they 
had to be content with a single member in the govern- 
ment, without office, in the person of Mr. Eichard Hutch- 
inson, who as the representative of Gilmour, Kankine 
Co., was extremely unpopular even in the county which 
had elected him. Hon. Eobert Duncan Wilmot was 
perhaps the most dissatisfied man of any with the new 
cabinet in which he found himself. He had not been a 
fortnight in the government before he began to realize 
the fact that his influence in it was quite overshadowed 
by that of Mr. Smith and Mr. Anglin, although neither 
of them held any office. Mr. Wilinot was a man of 
ability, and of strong and resolute will, so that this condi- 
tion of affairs became very distasteful to him and his 
friends and led to consequences of a highly important 

The new government had not been long in existence 
before rumors of dissensions in its ranks became very 
common. Mr. Wilmot made no secret to his friends of 
his dissatisfaction, and it was also understood that other 
members found their position equally unpleasant. An 
element of difficulty was early introduced by the resigna- 
tion of the Chief Justice, Sir James Carter, who found it 


necessary, in consequence of failing health, to retire from 
the Bench. Sir James Carter resigned in September, 
1865, and it immediately became requisite to fill his 
place. The Hon. Albert J. Smith, the leader of the 
government, had he chosen might have then taken the 
vacant position, but he did not desire to retire from 
political life at that time, and the Hon. John C. Allen, his 
Attorney General, was appointed to the Bench as a puisne 
Judge, while Hon. Eobert Parker was made Chief Justice. 
The latter, however, had but a few weeks to enjoy his new 
position, dying in November of the same year, and leaving 
another vacancy on the Bench to be filled. Again as 
before, the Hon. Mr. Smith declined to go on the Bench, 
and the Hon. John W. Weldon, who had been a long 
time a member of former Legislatures, and was at one 
time Speaker, was appointed to the puisne judgeship, and 
the Hon. William J. Eitchie made Chief Justice. The 
entire fitness of the latter for the position of Chief Justice 
made his appointment a popular one, but he was the 
junior of the Hon. Lemuel A. Wilmot as a Judge, and 
the Hon. E. D. Wilmot, who was a cousin of the latter, 
thought the senior judge should have received the 
appointment of Chief Justice. His disappointment at 
the office being given to another, caused a very bad feel- 
ing on his part towards the government, and he would 
have resigned his seat forthwith, but for the persuasions 
of some of those who were not friends of the government, 
who intimated to him that he could do them a great deal 
more damage by retaining his seat, and resigning at the 


proper time than by abandoning the government at that 
moment. Mr. Wilmot remained in the government until 
January, 1866, but although of their number his heart 
was estranged from them, and he may properly be re- 
garded as an enemy in their camp. 

Mr. Anglin also had difference with his colleagues with 
regard to railway matters, and he resigned his seat early 
in November, 1865 ; still he gave a general support to 
the government although no longer in its councils. But 
the most severe blow which the government received, 
arose from the election in the County of York which fol- 
, lowed the seating of the Hon. John C. Allen on the bench. 
The Confederation party had been so badly beaten in York 
at the general election that no doubt was felt by the 
government that any candidate they might select would 
be chosen by a very large majority. The candidate 
selected to contest York by the government was Mr. 
John Pickard, a highly respectable gentleman, who was 
engaged in lumbering, and who was extremely popular in 
that county, in consequence of his friendly relations with 
all classes of the community and the amiability of his 
disposition. Mr. Pickard would have been an ideal 
candidate had he been a better speaker, but he never 
pretended to be an active politician, and therefore stood 
at a disadvantage as compared to some men of no better 
ability but of greater eloquence. The Hon. Chas. Fisher 
was brought forward by the Confederation party as their 
candidate in York, although the hope of defeating Mr. 
Pickard seemed to be desperate, for at the previous 


election Mr. Fisher had only received 1226 votes against 
1799 obtained by Mr. Needham, who stood lowest on the 
poll among the persons elected for York. Mr. Fisher's 
abilities have already been sufficiently referred to in this 
work, and it need only be said that by his conduct in the 
York campaign, which resulted in his election, he struck 
a blow at the anti-Confederate Government from which 
it never recovered. His election was the first dawn of 
light and hope to the friends of Confederation in New 
Brunswick, for it showed clearly enough that whenever 
the people of this Province were given another opportu- 
nity of expressing their opinion on the question of Con- 
federation, their verdict would be a very different one 
from that which they had given at the general election. 
Mr. Fisher beat Mr. Pickard by 710 votes, receiving 701 
votes more than at the general election, while Mr. 
Pickard's vote fell 572 below that which Mr. Needham 
had received on the same occasion. 



Among the causes that had assisted to defeat Confeder- 
ation in New Brunswick, when the question was first 
placed before the people, was the active hostility of the 
Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Arthur Hamilton Gordon, a son 
of that Earl of Aberdeen who was Prime Minister of Eng- 
land at the outbreak of the Crimean war. Mr. Gordon 
had been a strong advocate of Maritime Union and had 
anticipated that he would be the first Governor of the 
United Province of Acadia, or by whatever name the 
Maritime Union was to be known. He was therefore 
greatly disappointed and annoyed, when the visit of the 
Canadians to Charlottetown, in September, 1864, put an 
end to the conference which had met for the purpose of 
arranging the terms of Maritime Union. While a 
Governor cannot take a very active part in political 
matters in this Province, he may stimulate others to 
hostility or to a certain course of action, who under other 
circumstances would be neutral or inactive, and there is 
reason to believe that some of the men who were most 
prominent in opposing Confederation at the general 
election of 1864 were mainly influenced by the example 
of the Lieutenant Governor. Confederation, however had 
been approved by the British Government after the terms 


arranged at Quebec had been submitted to it in a despatch 
from the Governor General, and those officials in New 
Brunswick and elsewhere who expected to find support 
in Downing street in their hostility to Confederation were 
destined to be greatly disappointed. Not long after the 
new government was formed in New Brunswick, Mr. 
Gordon returned to England, and it is generally believed 
that he was sent for by the home authorities. Instead of 
meeting with a flattering reception on the ground of his 
opposition to Confederation, he is believed to have been 
compelled to submit to a stern reproof for his anti-consti- 
tutional meddling in a matter which did not concern him, 
and to have been given decidedly to understand that if he 
returned to New Brunswick, to fill out the remainder of 
his term of office, it must be as one pledged to assist in 
carrying out Confederation and not to oppose it. When 
Mr. Gordon returned to this Province he was an entirely 
changed man, and whatever influence he was able to 
exert from that time forward was thrown in favor of Con- 

Another cause which made Confederation more accept- 
able to the people of this Province arose from the threats 
of the Fenians to invade Canada, which were made dur- 
ing the year 1865 and which actually resulted in armed 
invasions during the following year. Although there 
was no good reason for believing that the opponents of 
Confederation were less loyal than its supporters or less 
inclined to favor British connection, it was remarked that 
all the enemies of British connection seemed to "have got 


into the anti-Confederate camp. The Fenian movement 
had its origin in the troubles in Ireland, arising out of 
oppressive land laws and other local causes, and it soon 
extended to America where the politicians found it useful 
as a means of increasing their strength among the Irish 
people. At that time there were in the United States 
many hundreds of thousands of men who had recently 
been disbanded from the army at the close of the civil 
war, and who were only too ready to embrace any new 
opportunity of winning for themselves fame and rank on 
other fields of glory. Among these disbanded soldiers 
were many Irishmen, and it soon came to be known that 
bands of men could be collected in the United States for 
the invasion of this country with the avowed object o 
driving the British flag from this continent and substitut- 
ing the stars and stripes. It was impossible that the 
people of Canada could view without emotion these 
preparations for their undoing, and in New Brunswick 
especially, which was the first Province to be threatened, 
the Fenian movement materially assisted in deciding the 
manner in which our people should vote on the great 
question of Confederation when it came a second time to 
be submitted to them. 

The House of Assembly. met on the 8th March, 1866, 
and the speech from the throne, delivered by the Lieuten- 
ant Governor, contained the following paragraph : " I 
have received Her Majesty's commands to communicate 
to you a correspondence on the affairs of British North 
America which has taken place between Her Majesty's 


principal Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Gov- 
ernor General of Canada ; and I am further directed to 
express to you the strong and deliberate opinion of Her 
Majesty's government that it is an object much to be 
desired that all the British North American Colonies 
should agree to unite in one government. These papers 
will immediately be laid before you." This paragraph 
was not inserted in the speech without considerable pres- 
sure on the part of the Lieutenant Governor, and it 
excited a great deal of comment at the time because it 
seemed to indorse the principle of Confederation, although 
emanating from a government which had been placed in 
power as the result of an election in which Confederation 
had been condemned. When this portion of the speech 
was read by the Lieutenant Governor in the Legislative 
Council Chamber the crowd outside the bar gave a hearty 
cheer, a circumstance which never occurred before in the 
Province of New Brunswick, and perhaps not in any 
other British Colony. 

The members of the House favorable to Confederation 
immediately took up the matter and dealt with it as if 
the government had thereby pledged themselves in favor 
of that policy, and indeed there was considerable excuse 
for such inferences. When the secret history of the 
negotiations between the Lieutenant Governor and his 
advisers, prior to the meeting of the Legislature, comes 
to be told, it will be found that at least some of the mem- 
bers of the government had given His Excellency to 
understand that they were prepared to reverse their 


former action and to adopt Confederation. The difficulty, 
however, with them was that they feared their own sup- 
porters, and thought that if they made such a movement 
they would lose the favor of those who had placed them 
in power, and this inference was certainly a very natural 

As soon as the House met it was discovered that Mr. 
A. R. Wetmore, one of the prominent supporters of the 
government who had been elected to represent the City of 
St. John as an anti-Confederate, was no longer in sympathy 
with them. Mr. Wetmore's long experience as a nisi prius 
lawyer and his curt and imperturbable manner, rendered 
him a most exasperating and troublesome opponent, and at 
a very early period of the session he commenced to make it 
unpleasant for his former friends. He cross-examined the 
members of the Government in the same fashion which 
he had learned from long experience in the courts. Such 
attacks proved extremely damaging as well as very 

The address in reply to the speech from the throne was 
moved in the House of Assembly by Colonel Boyd, of 
Charlotte County, and when the paragraph relating to 
Confederation was read, Mr. Fisher asked him what it 
meant. Mr. Boyd replied that the Government had no 
objection to Confederation provided the terms were satis- 
factory. This reply still further strengthened the feeling 
that the Government were inclined to pass the measure 
which they had been elected to oppose. Mr. Fisher moved 
an amendment to the fourth paragraph of the address which 


referred to the Fenian conspiracy against British North 
America, expressing the opinion that while His Excellency 
might rely with confidence on the cordial support of the 
people for the protection of the country, his constitutional 
advisers were not by their general conduct entitled to the 
confidence of the Legislature. This amendment was 
seconded by Mr. DesBrisay of Kent, who had been a sup- 
porter of the Government and it was debated at great 
length. The discussion upon it continued from day to 
day for about three weeks, when on the 9th of April the 
Government resigned in consequence of difficulties with 
His Excellency in regard to his reply to the address of 
the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council had 
gone on and passed the address in reply to the speech, but 
in consequence of the delay in the House of Assembly, 
this reply had not before been presented to the Gover- 
nor. In answer to the address of the Legislative 
Council which was presented to him on the same day 
that the resignation of the Government took place, His 
Excellency said: "I will immediately transmit your ad- 
dress to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in order 
that it may be laid at the foot of the Throne. Her 
Majesty the Queen has already been pleased to express 
deep interest in a close union of her North America 
colonies and will no doubt greatly appreciate this decided 
expression of your opinion and the avowal of your desire 
that all British North America should unite in one com- 
munity, in one strong and efficient governmeut,cannot but 
tend to hasten the accomplishment of this great measure." 


The resignation of the Government was announced in 
the House of Assembly on the thirteenth of April, 1866, by 
Hon. A. J. Smith, and the following the documents were 
placed before that body, and are here reproduced because 
they explain fully the causes which led to the resignation 
of the government : 


The Executive Council in Committee beg to acknowledge the 
' receipt of Your Excellency's memorandum of the 7th inst., and 
the reply therein referred to, which are as follows : 

His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor transmits to his Coun- 
cil a copy of the reply which he has this afternoon returned to an 
address of the Legislative Council requesting His Excellency to 
transmit to Her Majesty an address praying that Her Majesty 
will be pleased to cause a measure for the union of the British 
North American Provinces to be introduced into the Imperial 


Fredericton, April 7th., 1866. 


I will immediately transmit your address to th% Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, in order that it may be laid at the foot of 
the Throne. Her Majesty the Queen has already been pleased to 
express a deep interest in the union of her North American Dom- 
. inions, and will no doubt graciously appreciate this decided 
expression of your opinion. I rejoice to believe that the avowal 
of your desire that all British North America should unite in one 
community, under one strong and efficient government, cannot but 
tend to hasten the accomplishment of this great measure. 

The Council would subjoin a copy of the address referred to in 
the above. 



" MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, Your Majesty's faithful and 
loyal subjects, the Legislative Council of New Brunswick, in 
Provincial Parliament assembled, humbly approach Your Maj- 
esty with the conviction that a union of all Your Majesty's 
North American Colonies, based on the resolutions adopted at 
the conference of delegates from the several colonies had at 
Quebec on the 10th day of October, 1864, is an object highly to be 
desired, essential to their future prosperity and influence, and 
calculated alike to strengthen and perpetuate the ties which bind 
them to Your Gracious Majesty's Throne and Government, and 
humbly pray that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased to 
cause a measure to be submitted to the Imperial Parliament for 
the purpose of thus uniting the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, 
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island in 
one government." 

The Council in reply would respectfully remark that in their 
opinion it was incumbent upon Your Excellency to consult your 
constitutional advisers in regard to the answers so given, and in 
assuming to yourself the right to reply to such address without 
consulting them, Your Excellency has not acted in accordance 
with the true spirit of the constitution. 

In this connection the Council would beg to refer to the state- 
ment appended herewith, giving an account of the two interviews 
between Your Excellency and the Attorney General. The reply 
so given by Your Excellency to the Legislative Council is a dis- 
tinct and emphatic approval of their proceedings, the responsibil- 
ity of which your advisers are unwilling to assume for the 
following reasons : 

1st. That in any measure involving an organic change in the 
constitution and political rights and privileges of the people, they 
should be consulted, and unless approved of by them, no such* 
measure should be adopted or forced upon them. 

2nd. That in March last a dissolution took place, professedly 
with a view to ascertain the sense of the people upon the Quebec 
scheme, and they pronounced unmistakably against its adoption 
by large majorities. 


3rd. That the representation of the people at the last session 
of the Legislature passed resolutions condemnatory of such 
scheme by a majority of 29 to 10. 

4th. That the Legislative Council are not elected by the people 
and are not constitutionally responsible to them for their legis- 
lative conduct and have no rightful authority to pray Her 
Majesty to give effect by Imperial legislation to any measure 
which the people have rejected. 

5th. That such proceeding violates every principle of respon- 
sibility and self government, and is subversive of the rights and 
liberties of the people, and seeks to take from them their constitu- 
tion not only without their consent, but against their clearly ex- 
pressed wishes. 

6th. That such a course is calculated to bring the Legislative 
Council and House of Assembly into collision and disturb the 
harmony that should subsist between them, and manifests an 
entire disregard of the power and majesty of the people. 

That the Legislative Council have a legitimate right to ex- 
press their opinion upon any public question the Council do not 
deny, but to invoke the aid of the British Government to coerce 
the people into Confederation is a proceeding, in the opinion of 
this Council, without parallel and wholly unwarrantable. The 
Council would further remark that they have good cause to be- 
lieve Your Excellency has, ever since the opening of the legis- 
lature, consulted and advised with gentlemen of the opposition 
and made known to them matters which they think should be 
regarded as confidential. This we feel Your Excellency has con- 
tinued to do notwithstanding the repeated objections of one or 
more members of the Council, who told Your Excellency that it 
was not right and that it gave the opposition a decided advantage 
in the debate then pending, and Your Excellency having taken 
the advice, as they truly believe, of a gentlaman of the opposition 
as to the answer given to the Legislative Council on Saturday 
last, instead of that of your constitutional advisers, they would 
respectfully express their conviction that such a course was un- 
constitutional and without precedent in any country where re- 
sponsible government exists. 

The Council would further state that the Government were sup- 
ported by a majority of the members of the House of Assembly, 


of which fact Your Excellency was fully aware. Under these 
circumstances the undersigned would beg respectfully to tender 
to Your Excellency the resignation of their offices as Executive 

Respectfully submitted, 





On Saturday the 7th inst., about 11 o'clock, I called at Govern- 
ment House and had an interview with His Excellency, and in 
the course of conversation the proceedings of the Legislative 
Council were referred to, when I spoke in terms of disapproval of 
the course which they adopted in reference to the subject of 
union. Something was said about the presentation of the ad- 
dress and His Excellency's reply thereto, when he asked me 
what answer I would advise. I replied that in my opinion the 
answer to be given should simply be that he would transmit it 
to Her Majesty. His Excellency said that he would think of it 
and see me again. He did not state that he intended to receive 
them that day and I had not the most distant idea that he in- 
tended to do so. I then parted from him. A few minutes before 
three o'clock of the afternoon of the same day, in my place in the 
House of Assembly, I received a note from him saying that he 
wished to see me at once. I immediately repaired to Govern- 
ment House, and after a short conversation with him upon other 
matters, he informed me that he was going to receive the Legis- 
lative Council with their address at three o'clock. I expressed 
my disapproval of it and complained that he had not advised 
with his Council before preparing it; that as they were respon- 
sible for it th'ey should at least be consulted before it was given. 
He remarked that if they did not approve of it they could relieve 
themselves of responsibility. I replied, even if that were true 


was it courteous and fair that the Council should be treated in 
that way ; that what they asked from His Excellency was fair 
play, not as a favor, but as a matter of right. He then proposed 
that I should drive down to the House of Assembly and see my 
colleagues and return in half an hour and he would keep the 
Legislative Council, who in the meantime had arrived at Govern- 
ment House, waiting until I returned. I said I could not do this; 
that the debate of the vote of want of confidence was going 
on, and that they could not leave the House. He replied, 
" I suppose not." I further stated that it was unfair 
and ungenerous, and net such treatment as the Council 
had a right to expect, to be called upon in this sudden 
and extraordinary way, in a matter so important. I expressed 
my condemnation of the course adopted by the Legislative 
Council and urged the impropriety of their praying Her Majesty, 
the Queen, to cause a law of the Imperial Parliament to be passed, 
giving effect to a scheme of union, which both the people and 
House of Assembly had rejected by overwhelming majorities, 
and that I never would consent to any address which authorized 
the Imperial Parliament to pass an act of union without reference 
to the people. I thought His Excellency seemed disposed to 
yield the point and strike out the last paragraph of the answer, 
which I considered very objectionable. He then asked me to 
excuse him and left the room to consult as I thought at the 
time, and from information received since, I am confirmed in 
that opinion a gentleman of the opposition, and a member of 
the Legislative Council, who was in the house at the time. He 
returned in a few minutes, and after some conversation similiar 
to that already detailed, told me that he would deliver the 
answer as it was, and send me a copy in the evening. I remon- 
strated against such conduct, but concluded by saying that if he 
had resolved upon such a course, it was in vain to protract the 
interview. I then left him. 





FREDERICTON, April 13th. 

The Lieutenant Governor has received from the members of 
the Executive Council a minute, tendering their resignation of 
their seats at the Council Board. The reason assigned by them 
for this step is a disinclination to accept the responsibility of a 
reply made by His Excellency to the Legislative Council, when 
requested by that body to transmit to Her Majesty an address, 
praying that a scheme for the union of the British North Ameri- 
can Provinces may be introduced into the Imperial Parliament. 

Several causes for this disinclination are enumerated by the 
Council. They may, however, all be resumed in the objection 
that the Legislative Council in adopting the address in question 
over-stepped the limits of action prescribed to it by constitutional 
principles and usage. 

In this view His Excellency cannot at all concur, and he per- 
ceives with regret the name of a member of the Upper House, for 
whose character and abilities he has a sincere respect, appended 
to reasoning, which would in His Excellency's opinion go far to 
destroy the position of that chamber as an independent and co- 
ordinate branch of the legislature. 

The papers on which the address in question was founded were 
laid before both houses of the legislature by Her Majesty's 
express commands, at the commencement of the present session. 
It had at that time long been known to Her Majesty's govern- 
ment that the general election in New Brunswick of 1865 had 
terminated unfavorably to the cause of union, and the communi- 
cation was made to the Provincial Parliament in the avowed hope 
that the question might be again considered and more favorably 

The address in answer to His Excellency's speech at the open- 
ing of the session, even as originally proposed, conveyed an 
assurance that those papers should receive a careful and respect- 
ful attention from the Legislative Council ; but the chief 
documents which the members of the body thus pledged them- 
selves to consider, were the resolutions adopted at Quebec, the 
approval of that scheme by Her Majesty, and the expression of a 
hope on the part of Her Majesty's government, that its provisions 
might be favorably considered in New Brunswick. 


On the questions thus submitted to them, by Her Majesty's 
command, the Legislative Council were bound to inform and to 
express an opinion. In so doing they have intimated their 
approval of a union of the British North American colonies and 
indicated the basis on which it might, in their opinion, be accom- 

It is neither constitutional to maintain that the Legislative 
Council is incompetent to act with reference to a scheme thus 
submitted to them until after its previous approval by the House 
of Assembly, nor can it be imagined that the Legislative Council 
alone is debarred from that right of appeal which is accorded to 
' all Her Majesty's subjects without distinction. 

The Council also take exception to His Excellency's having de- 
livered this reply without previously communicating to them the 
terms in which it was couched. Without inquiring how far their 
ministerial responsibility (from which it is always in their power 
to escape) requires that the Council should , possess a previous 
knowledge of all the Lieutenant Governor's words and actions, 
His Excellency must observe that the non-communication to the 
Council of the reply in question was the result, not of design, but 
of accident, and that it was his intention and desire to have 
afforded his Council a sufficient opportunity for its consideration. 
The language employed by His Excellency to the Legislative 
Council was not, however, inconsistent with the policy the 
Council had informed him they were inclined to follow, or in his 
judgment with the reply which with the knowledge and consent 
of his Council he had returned a few days previously to an ad- 
dress from the same body. His words were that he "Rejoiced to 
believe that the avowal of your desire that all British North 
America should unite in one community under one strong and 
efficient government cannot but tend to hasten the accomplish- 
ment of this great measure." This by no means conveys an 
approval of the particular scheme, to the provisions of which his 
Council made objection, although it does express a hope that a 
union of the British North American Provinces might shortly 1 e 
accomplished. But from previous commuications with the leader 
of the government His Excellency was full v entitled to assume 
that this hope was shared by his Council. 


On the eighth of January His Excellency received from the 
Hon. R. D. Wilmot a letter tendering the resignation of his seat 
in the Executive Council, and assigning as his chief reason for 
doing so the indisposition of his colleagues to entertain propos- 
itions for a closer union of the British North American Provinces. 
To that resignation His Excellency declined to reply until after 
the return of the President of the Council from Washington, 
which took place on the 1st of February. On the following day 
His Excellency had several communications with that gentle- 
man. His Excellency observed that the resignation of Mr. Wil- 
mot and the fact that the legislature had now been summoned 
for dispatch of business rendered it necessary that a distinct 
understanding on the subject of union should be arrived at be- 
tween His Excellency and his advisers. It would be His Excel- 
lency's duty in accordance with the instructions to submit the 
question again to the Legislature on its assembling, and to express 
the conviction of Her Majesty's government with respect to the 
benefits likely to attend the measure. If Mr. Wilmot was mis- 
taken in supposingthat the government had rejected all measures 
of union, and Mr. Smith and his colleagues were prepared to 
consent to the introduction into the speech at the opening of the 
session of the recommendation of Her Majesty's government con- 
veyed in Mr. CardswelPs despatch of the 24th July, 1865, it would 
have been His Excellency's duty to accept the proffered resigna- 
tion so tendered, and whether His Excellency would not be 
bound to enquire whether Mr. Wilmot was prepared to undertake 
the responsibility of recommending to the people the adoption of 
a measure which was in the opinion of Her Majesty's govern- 
ment calculated to confer benefits on Her Majesty's suojects in 
this Province, and the accomplishment of which I was directed 
by every means in my power to promote. The Lieutenant 
Governor also endeavored to the best of his ability to point out 
to Mr. Smith the advantages of a union of the British American 
Provinces and the urgent necessity under existing circumstances 
for effecting such a measure. His Excellency stated his con- 
fident belief that if, after being accepted as a basis, it were found 
that the details of the scheme agreed to at Quebec were open to 
just and serious objections on the part of the Maritime Provinces, 
the representation of their legislatures to that effect would be 


certain to receive a respectful attention from Her Majesty's gov- 
ernment and from that of Canada. His Excellency concluded by 
handing to Mr. Smith the following Memorandum : 


The Lieutenant Governor has been instructed by a despatch 
from the Secretary of State for the colonies, bearing date July 24th, 
1865, to express to the legislature of New Brunswick on its next 
re-assembling, "The strong and deliberate opinion of Her Maj- 
esty's government that it is an object much to be desired that 
all the British North American colonies should agree to unite in 
one government." 

The Lieutenant Governor has now fixed the 8th proximo as 
the day upon which the general assembly is to meet for business, 
and before that period it is highly desirable that he should be 
informed w hether his advisers are prepared to recommend the 
legislature to give effect to the opinion thus expressed by Her 
Majesty's government. 


Fredericton, February, 1866. 

This memorandum in compliance with Her Majesty's urgent 
request was not formally transmitted to the Council, but it was 
carefully read by him, and its substance communicated to his 

Mr. Smith must have preceived, although His Excellency 
abstains from any expression calculated to wound the suscepti- 
bility of the Council, that had that memorandum received a 
negative response, His Excellency was prepared to decline to 
accede to the recommendation, that Mr. Wilmot's resignation 
should be accepted, and to entrust to that gentleman the respon- 
sibility of attempting to carry into effect the policy, on account 
of his adherence to which he desired to quit the government 

After several communications with the members of the Coun- 
cil, Mr. Smith ultimately informed His Excellency that whilst 
unable to accept in its integrity the scheme adopted at Quebec, 
he and his colleagues were not indisposed to meet the wishes of 
Her Majesty's government, and that it appeared to him that the 


requisite sanction for the adoption of such a course might be 
obtained if the message transmitting th.e papers on that subject 
to the legislature, were referred to a joint committee of both 
houses, with an understanding that that committee should 
report in favor of a measure of union. 

His Excellency replied that he had no objection to such a 
course, provided it was already understood beforehand, but that 
reference was to be made only with a view of rendering it easier 
for the government to adopt a course which they had themselves 
in any case resolved to pursue, and with no intention to cast 
upon the committee the duty of finding a policy for the govern- 
ment, for that a reference of such a description, besides involving 
an abdication of their proper functions as a government, would 
cause much delay, and might after all terminate in a report 
unfavorable to union, in which case it was needless to point out 
to him, that so far from any progress having been made in the 
desired direction, the position of the cause would have been 
materially injured. Mr. Smith answered that he could not 
beforehand formally pledge a committee of the legislature, but 
that in making himself responsible for the recommendation of 
such a course, it would be with the view of honestly carrying 
out the policy so indicated. The committee having reported, the 
next step to betaken appeared to His Excellency to be the 
introduction by the government of an address to the Queen, 
praying Her Majesty to take steps for the accomplishment of the 
union, and His Excellency drew out the rough outline for such 
an address, similar in substance to that adopted by the Canadian 
Parliament, but adding a representation that portions of the 
scheme agreed to at Quebec were received with apprehension 
and alarm by a great part of the people of this and the adjoining 
Provinces, and a prayer that Her Majesty would be pleased in 
the preparation of any I mperial act to eftect the desired union, 
to give just weight to the objections urged against such provision 
on their behalf, to which proposal His Excellency understood 
Mr. Smith to assent, and his impression to that effect is con- 
firmed by finding it so stated in a note made at the time and 
read by His Excellency a few days subsequently to Mr. Smith, 
and in the despatches based on these notes, addressed by His 
Excellency to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Mr. Smith 


has lately, however, assured His Excellency that he only meant 
that such an address might grow out of the committee, but he 
did not intend to pledge himself in the first instance to propose 

A controversy in respect to the words used in conversation 
and the meaning intended to be conveyed by them is seldom 
capable of satisfactory settlement, and it is not H is Excellency's 
intention to discuss the greater accuracy of Mr. Smith's memory 
01 his own. Whatever the precise nature of the course agreed to 
on the 17th February was, it was one to which it was felt that it 
would be more difficult to reconcile the friends and supporters of 
the government than its actual members, and Mr. Smith left 
Fredericton in order to prepare all his principal adherents for 
the altered policy he professed to pursue, asking His Excellency 
to observe the strictest secrecy on the subject until his return to 
report either the acquiesence of his friends or the failure of his 
efforts. Mr. Smith on his return informed His Excellency on 
the 2nd of March that his party generally were willing to 
assent to the course which he had consented to pursue. It was 
accordingly agreed to insert in the speech on the opening of the 
session the recommendation of Confederation made by Her 
Majesty's government, as early as possible, to move the appoint- 
ment of such a joint committee of both houses of the legislature 
as should ensure the adoption of the scheme of union, whilst the 
objections to the Quebec scheme should be carefully weighed 
and examined at the same time by the committee. 

What the precise alterations in that scheme were which would 
have satisfied Mr. Smith, His Excellency was nver able exactly 
to learn, but he found that representation according to population, 
to which he entertained a strong objection, would not be regarded 
by him as an insuperable obstacle to, union, should a larger share 
of representation be secured to New Brunswick in the upper 
branch of the proposed Federal legislature. His Excellency con- 
sidering that the speedy accomplishment of a measure of union 
was now a matter of absolute certainty, addressed to Mr. Smith 
on the 7th of March, a letter of which the following is an extract: 

"I have been much gratified, though not surprised to find that 
you are disposed to approach the question of union as it now pre- 
sents itself in a large and statesman like spirit, and to realize as 


facts the necessities which are imposed by the actual condition 
of affairs. There is nothing which more distinguishes a states- 
man from a man incompetent to deal with great affairs than this 
power of appreciating the changes, the mode and the obligation, 
often a most irksome one, of acquiesing in a course which he 
considers open to objection, in order to prevent evils of yet 
greater magnitude. 

"You have it in your power to render the Province the inestim- 
able service of depriving its accession to the principle of union 
of that character of a party triumph, which it must otherwise 
wear, and of those feelings of bitterness which snch a triumph 
would engender." 

Mr. Smith did not deny the assumption which this letter con- 
tains and verbally acknowledged the terms in which he was 
therein spoken of. 

Having thus, therefore, as he presumed, ascertained that his 
Council were not indisposed in their own way, and at their own 
time, to recommend to the legislature the adoption of a union 
policy, His Excellency felt that much forbearance was requisite 
in order that this change of course might be accomplished in the 
manner which the Council might think least injurious to them- 
selves and most calculated to ensure the ultimate success of the 
measure, and with this view, he sought to secure the co-opera- 
tion of some of the leading friends of Confederation ordinarily 
hostile to the government. In doing so it was His Excellency's 
desire to strengthen the hands of his administration in the 
conducting of a difficult enterprise, believing it to be of the 
highest importance that this measure should not be carried as a 
mere party triumph, but as the expression of a national wish ; 
nor did he suppose that the course he then took could so be 
misunderstood by those in whose interests it was taken. It is 
true that Mr. Smith, and on one occasion one other member of 
the government, remonstrated against this course, and Mr. Smith 
observed that it was unnecessary, as he felt that he could carry 
out his plan without any assistance from political opponents, an 
assertion the correctness of which His Excellency at that time 
felt disposed to question, and which, even if accurate, appeared 
to him of doubtful policy, as it was desirable the union should 
be accomplished in virtue of as general an agreement as possible 


among the leading men of every political section in the commun- 
ity, and His Excellency more than once suggested that the 
principal advocates of Confederation should be called upon to 
meet Mr. Smith and his collegues in order that a line of action 
might be adopted by common consent on a question of such gen- 
eral importance and with regard to which, now that the govern- 
ment had adopted the principle of union, it seemed difficult to 
believe that a common understanding might not be reached. 

Upon the distinct understanding, therefore, that the govern- 
ment was endeavoring to procure the passage through the legis- 
lature of resolutions affirmative of the principle of union, and 
with the impression that an address praying Her Majesty to 
move the resolutions was to be subsequently adopted, His Ex- 
cellency felt justified in omitting, at the request of the Council, 
from his speech at the opening of the session the strong recom- 
mendation of union which he intended to introduce, but the 
responsibility for which his ministers felt they could not so 
suddenly assume. To what extent the other members of the 
Executive Council agreed with their president His Excellency 
cannot say, as, except on a few occasions in February, he had 
little communication with any of them on the subject, but His 
Excellency is convinced that when Mr. Smith returned to 
Fredericton on the 5th of March he imagined that he would be 
able to carry out the pledges he had given and that he fully in- 
tended to do so. Since the commencement of the session, how- 
ever, the course of the government has shown little indication of 
a movement in this direction. 

His Excellency has never ceased to urge on Mr. Smith the 
expediency and even the necessity of a bold avowal of his 
intended policy, nor has he failed to express his apprehension as 
to the consequence of delay in doing so, believing that until that 
avowal was made Mr. Smith would become daily more and more 
entangled in contradictory pledges, from which he would find it 
impossible to extricate himself, and which might act most 
prejudicially on the prospects of the cause, whilst at any time 
circumstances might call for such action on the part of His Ex- 
cellency as would place him in a position of apparent antagonism 
to the Council and prove productive of very serious embarrass- 
ment. This course, however, the government did not pursue, and 
it became more and more clearly apparent to His Excellency 


that they lacked the power he will not say they lacked the will 
to carry out their original intention. Their hostility to the 
particular form of union agreed to at Quebec was distinct and 
emphatic, whilst their approval of even an abstract union of an 
indefinite character became daily more vague and uncertain. 
Declarations were publicly made that no proposition for a union 
would be made during the present session, and arguments were 
used by members of the government and their supporters which 
were not only unfavorable to the Quebec scheme but equally 
directed against any plan of whatever description for a closer 
union with Canada. On more than one occasion His Excellency 
noticed these facts to Mr. Smith, who replied that the reports 
received by His Excellency as to the language used were inac- 
curate, that it was desirable not to indicate too soon the line he 
meant to take, as it would give an advantage to his opponents 
and might estrange some of his friends. In the desire to avoid 
giving cause of embarrassment to the government, and at their 
request, His Excellency delayed for nineteen days the reception 
of the address of the Legislative Council in reply to the speech 
from the throne, nor was it until it became evident to His Ex- 
cellency that further delay in this respect would seriously imperil 
the harmony of the relation between himself and the Legislative 
Council and House of Assembly that he fixed a day for its recep- 
tion. Mr. Smith frequently expressed a hope that the Lieutenant 
Governor did not entertain any doubt as to the honesty of his 
intention of carrying out to the letter the understanding between 
them as to the passage of resolutions on the subject of union. 
At length the presentation of the address to the Queen by the 
Legislative Council brought the question to a decided issue. Up 
to that time the government had given no public sign of an in- 
tention to grapple with the question or to substitute any amended 
scheme of union for that adopted at Quebec, and the Lieutenant 
Governor, in accordance with his instructions as the representa- 
tive of the Queen and as an officer of the Imperial Government, 
could not but feel it his duty to express satisfaction at the approv- 
al by one branch of the Provincial Legislature of the policy, the 
adoption of which had been recommended by him in his 
Sovereign's name and by her command at the commencement of 
the session. 


If the Lieutenant Governor's advisers cannot concur in these 
sentiments, and decline to become responsible for their utterance 
by His Excellency, it is no doubt their duty to tender, as they 
have done, the resignation of the offices held by them. His 
Excellency accepts those resignations with regret. His relations 
with his advisers during the past year have been harmonious 
and cordial ; for many among their number he entertains strong 
feelings of personal esteem ; nor can he forget to acknowledge 
the attention which his view^ have generally received at their 
hands, or the readiness with which his wishes have on most 
occasions been met by them, but he has no doubt as to the 
course which it is his duty to pursue in obedience to his Sover- 
eign's commands and in the interests of the people of British 
North America. His Excellency may be in error, but he believes 
that a vast change has already taken place in the opinions held 
on the subject in New Brunswick. He fully anticipates that the 
House of Assembly will yet return a response to the communi- 
cation made to them, not less favorable to the principle of union 
than that given by the upper house, and in any event he relies 
with confidence on the desire of a great majority of the people of 
the Province to aid in building up a powerful and prosperous 
nation under the Sovereignly of the British Crown. To this 
verdict His Excellency is perfectly ready to appeal. 

His Excellency thinks it right, also, to state that his reply was 
prepared by himself alone, and that the Council are in error in 
supposing that its terms were the subject of advice from any 
member of the opposition. His Excellency does not admit the 
entire accuracy of Mr. Smith's reports of his conversation with 
him appended to the minute of Council, but at the same time 
readily acknowledges that the difference between his own 
impression of these conversations and that of Mr. Smith, is 
only such as might naturally arise under the circumstances. 
Mr. Smith has, however, omitted to state that at his first inter- 
view His Excellency pointed out, as he had frequently done 
before, the embarrassing results of the non-avowal of his union 
policy, and observed that the Legislative Council had now passed 
an address, at the adoption of which he would probably feel 
obliged to express satisfaction. 



This is a matter of infinitely less importance to the public, and 
will be very shortly dealt with by His Excellency. Although 
His Excellency has met at all times with the utmost courtesy 
and consideration from the members of his government, it would 
be a source of sincere regret to him to believe that he -was justly 
liable to any imputation of such a nature. That a leading mem- 
ber of the opposition was more than once communicated with 
by His Excellency is perfectly true. This communication was 
made with Mr. Smith's full knowledge, and in the belief on His 
Excellency's part that it would facilitate Mr. Smith's accomplish- 
ment of the end in view. Nor was it until a very late period 
that his Excellency relinquished the hope of seeing a combina- 
tion effected to smooth the passage of the contemplated resolutions. 

Th Lieutenant Governor of course feels that previous 
communications between himself and his advisers, as to any 
step he is about to take, when practicable, both desirable and 
convenient, and it was His Excellency's full intention to have 
afforded the Council ample opportunity for the consideration of 
his reply, and he much regrets that accident should have frus- 
trated his intention. The committee of the Legislative Council 
did not wait on His Excellency till about 12 o'clock, and until 
that address was before him he could not officially communicate 
with the Council on the subject of his reply. Immediately on 
its reception he sent for Mr. Smith, intending to put the draft 
reply into his hands and request him to communicate it to his 
colleagues. Mr. Smith, however, appears not to have received 
His Excellency's note until half past two o'clock. So strong was 
His Excellency's wish that the contents of bis reply should be 
known to the Council before its delivery, that when His Excel- 
lency left the room, as stated by Mr. Smith, it was not as that 
gentleman supposes to consult with a member of the opposition 
respecting the omission or retention of a paragraph in his reply, 
a point on which His Excellency received no advice from any 
other person than Mr. Smith, but for the purpose of ascertaiuing 
whether it might not even then be possible to postpone the 
reception of the address for a few hours. He found, however, 
that it would have been impossible to do so without gross dis- 
courtsey to the Legislative Council. 


Fredericton, April 12, 1866. 


The Lieutenant Governor called upon the Hon. Peter 
Mitchell, who was a member of the Legislative Council, 
to form a government. Mr. Mitchell had been very active 
in the cause of Confederation, and was the moving spirit 
in the Legislative Council in all the proceedings in favor 
of Confederation in that body ; but when asked to form 
a new government, he advised the Lieutenant Governor 
that the proper person to undertake that responsibility 
was the Hon. Mr. Tilley. The latter, however, declined 
the task on the ground that he was not a member of the 
Legislature, and then Mr. Mitchell associated with him- 
self the Hon. Mr. Wilmot for the purpose of forming a 
new government. The government was announced on 
the 18th of April, and it was formed as follows : Hon. 
Peter Mitchell, President of Council ; Hon. S. L. Tilley, 
Provincial Secretary ; Hon. Charles Fisher, Attorney 
General ; Hon. Edward Williston, Solicitor General ; Hon. 
John McMillan, Post Master General ; Hon. A. R. Mc- 
Clelan, Chief Commissioner of Public Works ; Hon. R. 
i). Wilmot and Hon. Charles Council, members without 
office. The latter afterwards became Surveyor General. 

While this government was being formed in New 
Brunswick a Fenian army was gathering upon the border 
for the purpose of invading this Province. This force 
consisted of four or five hundred young men, most of 
whom had been in the army of the United States. It 
was recruited at New York, and its chief was a Fenian 
named Doram Killian. A part of his force arrived at 
Eastport on the 10th of April, and a schooner laden with 


arms for the Fenians soon after reached that place. From 
this schooner, which was afterwards seized by the United 
States, one hundred and seventeen cases of arms and 
ammunition were taken, a clear proof that the intentions 
of the Fenians were warlike and that their presence on 
the border was not a mere demonstration. The Fenians 
appeared to have been under the impression, as many 
residents of the United States are to this day, that the 
people of Canada and of New Brunswick were dissatisfied 
with their own form of government, and were anxious to 
come under the protection of the stars and stripes. This 
absurd idea was responsible largely for the war of 1812, 
and it has been responsible since then for many other 
demonstrations with respect to the British Provinces of 
North America, in which residents of the United States 
have taken part. There never was a greater delusion 
than this, and in the instance referred to the Fenians 
were doomed to be speedily undeceived. The presence 
of a Fenian force on the border sounded like a bugle 
blast to every able-bodied man in New Brunswick, and 
the call for troops to defend the country was instantly 
responded to. About one thousand men were called out 
and marched to the frontier. The troops called out con- 
sisted of the three Battalions of the New Brunswick 
Regiment of Artillery, seven companies of the St. John 
Volunteer Battalion, one company of the First Battalion 
of the York County Militia, one company each of the 
First and Third Battalions of the Charlotte County 
Militia, and two companies each of the Second and Fourth 


Battalions of the Charlotte County Militia. These troops 
remained in arms on the frontier for nearly three months, 
and were disembodied by general order dated the 20th of 
June. The Fenian raid on New Brunswick proved to be 
a complete fiasco. The frontier was so well guarded by 
the New Brunswick Militia and by British soldiers, and 
the St. Croix so thoroughly patroled by British warships 
that the Fenians had no opportunity to make any im- 
pression upon the Province. It ought to be added that 
the United States government was prompt to take steps 
to prevent any armed invasion, and General Meade was 
sent down to Eastport with a force of infantry and a ship 
of war to prevent the Fenians from making that place a 
base of operations against these Provinces. 

The general elections to decide whether or not New 
Brunswick was willing to become confederated with 
Canada were held in May and June. The first election 
was that for the County of Northumberland, on the 25th 
of May, and the result was that the four candidates who 
favored Confederation, Messrs. Johnson, Sutton, Kerr and 
Williston, were elected by large majorities. The same 
result followed in the County of Carletou, where the 
election was held on the 26th of May, Messrs. Connell 
and Lindsay being elected by a vote of more than two to 
one over their anti-Confederate opponents. The third 
election was in Albert County on the 29th,and there Messrs. 
McClelan and Lewis, the two candidates in favor of Con- 
federation, were triumphantly returned. On the 13th day 
of May, elections were held in Eestigouche and Suubury, 


and in these counties the candidates in favor of Confeder- 
ation were returned by large majorities. The York 
election came next. In that county the anti-Confederates 
had placed a full ticket in the field, the candidates being 
Messrs. Hatheway, Fraser, Needham and Brown. Mr. 
Fisher had with him on the ticket Dr. Dow and Messrs, 
Thompson and John A. Beck with. Every person ex- 
pected a vigorous contest in York, notwithstanding the 
victory of Mr. Fisher over Mr. Pickard a few months be- 
fore. But to the amazement of the anti-Confederates in 
other parts of the Provinces, the Hon. George L, 
Hatheway and Dr. Brown, another anti-Confed- 
erate candidate, retired after nomination day and 
left Messrs. Fraser and Needham to do battle alone. 
Mr. Hatheway's retirement at this time was a death 
blow to the hopes of the anti-Confederates all over 
New Brunswick, affecting not only the result in the 
County of York, but in every other County in which an 
election was to be held. A few nights before his resigna- 
tion, Mr. Hatheway had been in St. John, addressing a 
packed meeting of anti-Confederates in the hall of the 
Mechanics' Institute, and he had spoken on that occasion 
with all the insolence and apparent confidence which 
were a part of his political stock in trade. When his 
friends in St. John, who had been so much moved by his 
vigorous eloquence, learned that he had deserted them, 
their indignation was extreme, and they felt that matters 
must indeed be in a bad way when this blatant and un- 
principled demagogue did not dare to face the York 


electors. The result was that in York, Messrs. Fraser 
and Needham were simply snowed under, and the Con- 
federate candidates elected by a vote of more 
than two to one. The election in the County of St. John 
was held on the 6th of June and that in the City on the 
7th. For the County the Confederate candidates were 
Messrs. C. N. Skinner, John H. Gray, James Quinton 
and K. D. Wilmot, and the anti-Confederate candidates 
were Messrs. Coram, Cudlip, Robertson and Anglin. The 
former were elected by very large majorities, Mr. Wilinot 
who stood lowest on the poll among the Confederates, 
having a majority of 600 over Mr. Coram, who stood 
highest among the defeated candidates. The election for 
the City was an equally emphatic declaration in favor of 
Confederation. The candidates were the Hon. S. L. 
Tilley and A. E. Wetmore on the Confederate side, and 
J. V. Troop and S. E. Thompson opposed to Confederation. 
Mr. Tilley's majority over Mr. Troop, who stood highest 
on the poll of the two defeated candidates, was 726. The 
only Counties which the anti-Confederate party succeded 
in carrying were Westmorland, Gloucester and Kent, 
three counties in which the French vote was very large, 
so that of the forty-one members returned only eight were 
opponents of Confederation. The victory was as complete 
as that which had been recorded against Confederation in 
the beginning of 1865. 

The battle of Confederation had been won, and the 
triumph was largely due to the efforts of Hon. Mr. Tilley. 
That, gentlemen, as soon as the defeat of Confederation 


took place in March, 1865, had commenced a campaign 
for the purpose of educating the people on the subject of 
Confederation. Being free from his official duties and 
having plenty of time on his hands, he was able to devote 
himself to the work of explaining the advantages of the 
proposed union to the people of this Province ; and dur- 
ing the years 1865 and 1866 he spoke in almost every 
Bounty on the subject which was so near to his heart. 
He had embraced Confederation with a sincere desire for 
the benefit of his native Province, and with th* 1 belief 
.that it would be of the greatest advantage to New Bruns- 
wick. If the fruits of Confederation have not yet all 
been realized that has been rather due to circumstances 
over which neither Mr. Tilley nor anyone else had any 
control, than to any inherent vice of Confederation itself. 
If union is strength then it must be admitted that the 
union of the British North American Provinces which 
consolidated them into a powerful whole was a good 
thing, and there cannot be a doubt that if the Provinces 
had remained separate from each other their present 
position would have been much less favorable than it 
is now. 

One of the great objects of Confederation was the 
construction of the Intercolonial Eailway from St. John 
and Halifax to Quebec. It was thought by our people 
that there could be no real union between the several 
Colonies of British North America unless a good means of 
communication existed, and such a means was to be found 
only in the construction of this line of railway. The In- 


tercolonial railway, as we have seen, had been a part of the 
policy of successive governments in the Province for man}' 
years, and it became an essential part of the scheme of 
Confederation. When Confederation was accepted by the 
people of New Brunswick in 1866, the Intercolonial Rail- 
road had yet to be built. Western Extension, as the line 
to the Maine border was called, had only been commenced; 
Eastern extension, from Shediac line towards Halifax, 
was in the same condition ; in fact the total mileage of 
the railways in New Brunswick did not exceed 200, and 
these lines were isolated from each other and formed no 
pait of any complete system. New Brunswick now has 
three separate lines of railway leading to Quebec and Mon- 
treal ; it is connected with the great railway system of this 
continent ; there is no county in the Province which has 
not a line of railway traversing it ; and the mileage has 
risen from less than two hundred to more than fourteen 
hundred. If Confederation had produced no other fruits 
than the increase of our railway facilities surely it must 
be admitted to have been useful to this Province. Mr. 
Tilley realized with the eyes of a statesman that the time 
had come when the communities which form the British 
Provinces of North America must either become politi- 
cally connected with each other or else fall one by one be- 
neath the influence of the United States. After Confeder- 
ation had been brought about between Quebec, Ontario, 
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, enough was seen in 
the conduct of American statesmen towards Prince Ed- 
ward Island to show that their design was to divide and 


conquer, and to try to create a separate interest in these 
colonies apart from the general interest of Canada. The 
acceptance of the scheme of Confederation by Prince Ed- 
ward Island at a comparatively early period, put an end to 
the plots in that quarter, but in the case of Newfoundland 
the same thing has been repeated, and an attempt was 
made by American statesmen to cause the people of that 
Island to believe that their interests and those of Canada 
are not identical, and that they would be favored by the 
United States if they showed themselves hostile to the 
great Dominion. The attitude of the people and Congress 
of the United States towards Canada has generally been 
one of hostility. They saw in Confederation an ar- 
rangement that was likely to prevent this country from 
ever becoming annexed to their own, and they believed 
that by showing hostility to us with respect to the tariff 
and other matters, and limiting the area of our commercial 
relations, they could put such pressure upon Canada as 
would compel our people to unite with them. This 
scheme has failed because it was based on a mis* 
conception of the spirit of our people, but who will say 
that it would not have succeeded if the several 
Provinces, which now form Confederation h'->.d been 
disunited and unharmonious in their relations and pur- 
sued different lines of policy ? 

It is unfortunate that the reporting arrangements of 
the newspapers during the campaign of Confederation 
have made it impossible to reproduce any of Mr. Tilley's 
speeches during that eventful time. No Speaker that 


New Brunswick has ever produced has been more gen- 
erally acceptable than was Mr. Tilley, his speeches being 
pointed and addressing themselves to his hearers in such 
a clear fashion that they really could jnot be misunder- 
stood. Mr. Tilley possessed to a very large extent that 
magnetism which enabled him to retain the attention and 
awaken the sympathy of his audiences. At all the meet- 
ings which he addressed there were many who regarded 
themselves always as his friends and supporters and who 
formed a phalanx around him, giving him a confidence 
and political strength which few statesmen have ever 
enjoyed to a like extent. Although his addresses fre- 
quently provoked the bitter animosity of his enemies he 
had always enough friends to counteract their influence, 
and during the many contests which he had to fight for 
his seat in the city of St. John he was always able to rely 
on the loyalty of those who were his early associates and 
who remained his supporters until the end of his career. 

It is quite safe to assert that Confederation could not 
have been carried out had it not been for the personal 
efforts of Mr. Tilley. As the leader of the government, 
which had consented to the Quebec scheme, he was 
properly looked upon as the chief promoter of Confeder- 
ation in New Brunswick, and his name will go down to 
future generations identified with that large and neces- 
sary measure of Colonial statesmanship. 

After the elections were over and Confederation had 
been carried, the "Morning Telegraph" of St. John, which 
had been an ardent supporter of the scheme, made up a 


statement which showed that 55,665 votes had been cast 
throughout the Province for candidates in favor of Con- 
federation, while only 33,767 votes had been cast against 
it. That was a sufficiently emphatic endorsement of the 
scheme of union, and it was accepted as a proof that the 
people of New Brunswick ardently desired the consti- 
tutional change which a union with Canada would in- 
volve. But although the vote had been taken on the 
question, much remained to be done before Confederation 
could become an accomplished fact. The last elections, 
which were those of Kings and Charlotte, were held on 
the 12th of June, but more than a year was to elapse be- 
fore the union was effected and the result which the 
election was intended to bring about realized. The first 
thing to be done was to call the Legislature together and 
complete the business of the Province, which had been 
interrupted by the dissolution. The Legislature met on 
the 21st of June and the Hon. John H. Gray, who had 
been an active advocate of Confederation, and who was 
one of the members for the County of St. John, was 
made speaker. In the speech from the throne the fol- 
lowing reference was made to the question of Confeder- 

" The address of the Legislative Council to Her Majesty 
the Queen, on the subject of the union of the British 
North American Provinces, agreed to during the late ses- 
sion, was duly transmitted by me to England to be laid 
at the foot of the throne, and I am commanded to inform 
you, Her Majesty has been pleased to accept the same 


very graciously. The adoption and the reception by me 
for transmission to Her Majesty of this address led to 
events which rendered it, in my opinion, expedient to dis- 
solve the then existing General Assembly. I have now 
much satisfaction in resorting to your assistance and co- 
operation at the earliest possible moment, although I regret 
that it should be necessary to call you together at a 
period of the year which must, I fear, render your as- 
sembling a matter of much personal inconvenience to 
some of you. 

" Her Majesty's government have already expressed 
their strong and deliberate opinions that the union of the 
British North American Provinces under one government 
is an object much to be desired. The Legislatures oi 
Canada and Nova Scotia have formed the same judgment, 
and you will now shortly be invited to express your con- 
currence with or dissent from the view taken of this great 
question by those Provinces. 

" The question which you are now called together 
especially to consider is one of the most momentous ever 
submitted to a Colonial Legislature." 

In the address in answer to the speech from the 
throne the following reference was made to the question: 

" It is satisfactory to learn that the adoption and re- 
ception by Your Excellency of the address led to events 
which rendered it expedient to dissolve the then existing 
General Assembly and most gratifying to believe that the 
country has sustained that conclusion, and, although we 
unite with Your Excellency in regretting that it should 


have been necessary to call the Assembly together at a 
season that may cause personal inconvenience to some of 
us, we rejoice to have the opportunity of aiding by our 
counsel and co-operation in the consummation of those 
national objects which have led to our meeting. 

" We learn with satisfaction that Her Majesty's govern- 
ment, having already expressed their strong and deliberate 
conviction that the union of the British Provinces under 
one government is an object much to be desired, and that 
the Legislatures of Canada and Nova Scotia having passed 
the same judgment, we will shortly be called upon to ex- 
press our concurrence with or dissent from the view taken 
of this question by those Provinces, and we confidently 
look forward to a similar decision here." 

This address was moved by Mr. Kerr, of Northumber- 
land, and seconded by Mr. Beveridge of Victoria, 
and its consideration was made the order of the 
day for the following Saturday. When it came 
up for discussion the Hon. Albert J. Smith was not in 
his place, and Mr. Botsford, one of his colleagues from 
Westmorland, endeavored to have the consideration of 
the matter postponed, but the House was in no humor to 
await the convenience of any single member, and the 
address was passed the same day by a vote of thirty to 
seven. Mr. Tilley's name was not recorded in this 
division, because he had to leave for St. John on public 
business ; the other absentees were Messrs. Smith and 
Skinner. Attorney General Fisher, immediately on the 
passage of the address, gave notice of the Confederation 


resolution, which was to be made the order of the day for 
Monday, June 26th. This resolution was in the follow- 
ing terms : 

" Resolved, That an humble address be presented to 
His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, praying that 
His Excellency be pleased to appoint delegates to unite 
with delegates from the other Provinces, in arranging 
with the Imperial Government for the union of British 
North America, upon such terms as will secure the just 
rights and interests of New Brunswick, accompanied with 
provision for the immediate construction of the Inter- 
colonial Eailway ; each Province to have an equal voice 
in such delegation, Upper and Lower Canada to be con- 
sidered as separate Provinces." 

On that day Mr. Fisher moved the resolution in ques- 
tion in a very brief speech, and was replied to by Hon. 
Mr. Smith, who spoke at great length and continued his 
speech on the following day. Mr. Smith took exception 
to giving delegates power to fix the destinies of the 
Provinces forever, without again submitting the scheme 
of union to the people. He proceeded to discuss the 
Quebec scheme, but took exception to the construction of 
the upper House of the proposed legislature of the Con- 
federation, declaring that each Province should have an 
equal number of representatives in it, as was the case in 
the United States. After going over the ground pretty 
thoroughly and criticising most of the terms of the scheme 
of Confederation, he moved an amendment to the effect 
that no act or measure for a union with Canada take 


effect until approved by the Legislature or the people of 
this Province. 

The Hon. Mr. Tilley replied to the leader of 
the opposition in one of the most effective speeches 
that he ever delivered in the Legislature. He 
first took up Mr. Smith's allusion to the constitutional 
question, and, with immense .power and solemnity, he 
charged that any want of constitutional action which 
existed was due to Mr. Smith and his colleagues. He 
stated that the Governor's sympathies were with the late 
government, and that he had endeavored to aid 

~ * 

and not to injure them. Mr. Smith had alluded to 
the Hon. Joseph Howe, who was then an opponent of 
Confederation, in terms of praise, and Mr. Tilley in reply 
read from Mr. Howe's speech, made in 1861, a magnifi- 
cent paragraph on the union of British America. Mr. 
Tilley stated that the government would take the Quebec 
scheme for a basis, and would seek concessions to meet 
the views of those who found difficulty as to parts of it. 
He went over the Counties of the Province to show that 
they were either for the Quebec scheme or substantially 
for it. He was convinced that even his friend, the ex- 
Attorney-General and member for Westmorland, was 
hardly against union. He asked, Was there one anti- 
unionist on the floors of the House ? Where was Mr. 
Anglin ? Mr. Needham ? Mr. Hill and all the rest of 
the anti-unionists ? They were all swept away and 
unionists had taken their places, and when the arrange- 
ments for union were carried out, the feeling in its favor 


would be deeper and deeper. Mr. Tilley showed the 
great advantages which would accrue to New Brunswick 
eventually in consequence of Confederation. He corn- 
batted the statement made by Mr. Smith that after Con- 
federation the Provincial Legislature would become a 
mere farce, showing that of all the Acts passed during 
the previous two years there were only seven which 
would have come under the control of the general Legis- 
lature. Mr. Tilley closed by dwelling on the impression 
of power which union would have on the minds of those 
abroad who were plotting our ruin. The speech was 
listened to with the utmost attention by the members of 
the Legislature and by a very large audience, which com- 
pletely filled the galleries, and it was generally considered 
to have been one of his greatest efforts. 

Quite a sensation was created by the speech delivered 
by Mr. Charles N. Skinner, one of the members elected 
for the County of St. John as a supporter of Confedera- 
tion. Mr. Skinner took the position that the govern- 
ment did wrong in introducing a bald resolution, and 
showing an unwillingness to take the suggestions of the 
House as to what kind of a scheme the country wanted. 
He believed it was the duty of the representatives to 
deliberate upon this question, and give the delegates 
instruction as to what they desired. The position taken 
by the government was that the House had better not say 
anything about what they or the country wanted, but 
clothe the delegates with power to do as they pleased 
irrevocably, and give them no instructions. This he 


deplored in strong language. The country, he said, had 
not elected the men in favor of Confederation to be mere 
automatons, to move as they were moved, and to say only 
such words as should be put into their mouths. He 
thought on a question of such vast importance as this 
the fullest deliberation should be had. He would not tie 
the delegates down to the letter of their instructions. He 
would leave them a margin to go and come upon. He 
also complained that the House did not know the nurn- 
ber^of delegates that were to be sent, neither did they 
know who the delegates were to be. He said unless the 
men who were going on this mission were men of great 
ability and integrity he would lack confidence in them. 
There were men in the Legislature and government that 
he would trust with this great responsibility, but there 
were others whom he would not. He then proceeded to 
show that while he was dissatisfied at the manner the 
government were pushing the question before the House, 
he still would vote for the resolution, because the policy 
of the government, although to his mind a wrong policy, 
was the only policy before the country on the question 
of Confederation, and to vote against the resolution and 
with Mr. Smith's amendment was to vote against Con- 
federation altogether. He would vote for the reso- 
lution and hold the government responsible for their 
conduct in bringing the matter down as they did. He 
then proceeded to enlarge upon the Quebec scheme ; he 
made several objections to it and reasoned them out. He 
said he made the objections that the delegates might know 


what his opinions were, and, if they were worth anything, 
they might profit by them. His speech was said to be 
the best he ever delivered in the House, and was listened 
to with marked attention, scarcely a member leaving his 
seat while he was speaking. The resolution was finally 
carried by a vote of 30 to 8, Mr. Glazier, of Sunbury, 
and Mr. W. P. Flewelling, of Kings, both of whom would 
have voted for the resolution, being absent. As soon as 
the Confederation resolution was passed the Hon. A. J. 
Smith moved a resolution which, after reciting the steps 
which had already been taken in favor of union with 
Canada, continued as follows : 

" Therefore resolved, As the deliberate opinion of 
this House is that no measure for such union should be 
adopted which did not contain the following provisions, 
viz. : 1st An equal number of Legislative councillors 
for each Province ; 2nd Such Legislative councillors to 
be required to reside in the Province which they repre- 
sent and for which they are appointed ; 3rd The num- 
ber of representatives in the Federal Parliament to be 
limited; 4th The establishment of a court for the de- 
termination of questions and disputes that may arise 
between the Federal and Local governments as to the 
meaning of the act of union ; 5th Exemption of this 
Province from taxation for the construction and enlarge- 
ment of canals in Upper Canada, and for the payment of 
money for the mines and minerals and lands of New- 
foundland; 6th Eighty cents per head to be on the 
population as it increases and not to be confined to the 


census of 1861 ; 7th Securing to the Maritime Prov- 
inces the right to have at least one executive councillor 
in the Federal Parliament ; 8th The commencing of 
the Intercolonial Railroad before the right shall exist to 
increase taxation upon the people of the Province." 

Mr. Smith supported his resolution in a lengthy speech 
in which he predicted increased taxation as the result of 
Confederation. He said that the House, instead of being 
a deliberative assembly, had to surrender its judgment to 
the government. Confederation was a great experiment 
at best and called for the exercise of other men's judg- 
ment. The government was going on in the most high- 
handed manner and were not justified in withholding 
information asked for. He elaborated the idea that Can- 
ada, was pledged to issue treasury notes to pay present 
liabilities, and asserted that the government was alto- 
gether under the control of Canadian politicians. He 
insisted particularly on a provision in the Act of Union 
that each of the Maritime Provinces have an executive 
councillor in the Federal government. Finally the vote 
was taken and the following amendment, which had been 
moved by Hon. Mr. Fisher, was carried, only eight 
members voting against it : 

" Resolved, That the people of this Province having, 
after due deliberation, determined that the union of 
British North America was desirable, and the House, 
having agreed to request His Excellency the Lieutenant 
Governor to appoint delegates for the purpose of consid- 
ering the plan of union upon such terms as will secure 


the just rights of New Brunswick, and having confidence 
that the action of His Excellency under the advice of his 
constitutional advisers will be directed to the attainment 
of that end, sound policy and a due regard to the interests 
of this Province require that the responsibility of such 
action should be left unfettered by an expression of 
opinion other than what has already been given by the 
people and their representatives." 

This ended the battle for Confederation in New Bruns- 
wick, for what remained to be done was merely the 
arrangement of the details of the union by the delegates 
who had received full power for that purpose. The 
session of the Legislature, which must be considered one 
of the most important ever held in New Brunswick, came 
to a close on Monday, the 7th of July. At a meeting of 
the government held immediately after the prorogation 
of the. Legislature, the Hon. Messrs. Tilley.Wilmot, Fisher, 
Mitchell, Johnson and Chandler were appointed to go to 
England as delegates, for the purpose of meeting delegates 
from Canada and Nova Scotia, and arranging the bill 
which was to be passed by the Imperial Parliament for 
the consummation of Confederation. It was understood 
at that time that there would be no delay on the part of 
the delegates from Canada, but owing to causes which 
perhaps are a little obscure, Sir John A. Macdonald and 
the other Canadian delegates were unable to leave at the 
time appointed, and did not meet our delegation in Eng- 
land until many months after the latter had arrived 
there. This unfortunate circumstance produced much 


comment at the time, because it looked as if the govern- 
ment of Canada was treating the delegates of New Bruns- 
wick and Nova Scotia with gross discourtesy. The 
business, instead of being completed promptly, as was 
expected, and the bill passed by the Parliament during 
the autumn session, was thrown over until the following 
year, and our delegates, most of whom were prominent 
members of the government, had to remain in England 
for about ten months at great expense and inconvenience. 
It has been stated that the ill health of Sir John A, 
Macdonald was responsible for that condition of affairs, 
he being subject at that time to attacks of indisposition 
which prevented him from attending to his duties as a 
Minister of the Crown. Whatever the cause of .the 
trouble it was a very unfortunate beginning, and but for 
the good sense and moderation displayed by the represen- 
tatives of the Maritime Provinces, might have greatly 
prejudiced the movement in favor of Confederation. 



The delegates from the three Provinces, Canada, Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, met at the Westminster 
Palace hotel, London, in November, 1866, Hon. John A. 
Macdonald in the chair ; C. W. Bernard acting as Secre- 
tary. The resolutions passed at the Quebec Conference 
held in 1864, were read, and amendments were moved in 
accordance with the suggestions made in the several Legis- 
latures during the discussions at the previous sessions. It 
was conceded on all hands that the Intercolonial Eailway, 
by which facilities for interprovincial commercial inter- 
course could be secured, must be built by the united 
Provinces and without a delay. It was also conceded that 
in the Provinces where separate schools were established 
by law, that principle should not be disturbed. Mr. Gait 
was the special advocate of this concession from the Prov- 
ince of Quebec, and the Roman Catholic members of the 
convention on behalf of the minority in Canada West. 
In the discussion it was claimed that the sole right of im- 
posing an export duty should be vested in the Federal 
authority. This was objected to by the New Brunswick 
delegates, as the people of that Province had expended a 
large sum of money in the improving of the navigation 
of the upper St. John, and had, to recoup themselves, 


imposed an export duty on lumber shipped from the Pro- 
vinces. A considerable portion of the income thus re- 
ceived was paid by the lumbermen of the State of Maine, 
the advantage derived by them from such improvements 
being very great. The claim thus presented by the New 
Brunswick delegates was conceded and the Province per- 
mitted to retain the right. This right was abandoned 
since Confederation, the Dominion paying therefor $150,- 
000 per annum to the New Brunswick government. Up 
to the present time no export duty on lumber going from 
New Brunswick has been demanded since the passage 
of this last legislation. 

During the sitting of the delegates, which extended to 
over a period of two months, many conferences were held 
with Lord Carnarvon, then Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, and the law officers of the Crown in regard to 
objections which were taken to some of the resolutions 
adopted by the delegates. Valuable assistance was 
rendered during this Conference by Lord Monk, who 
was then in London, but who was Governor General of 
Canada when the Conference was held at Quebec. The 
arrangements there made in regard to the strengthening of 
the central authority as compared with the constitution 
of the United States, the result of the experience of that 
country during the rebellion, were adhered to in the Lon- 
don resolutions and accepted by the Imperial authorities. 
When the bill reached Parliament some amendments were 
suggested, but when it was pointed out that the bill as 
presented was the result of the most careful consider- 


ation of both the Imperial authorities and the Colonial 
representatives, the suggested amendments were not 
pressed and the measure passed through Parliament with 
very little discussion. But one spirit seemed to animate 
both the Imperial authorities and the members of Parlia- 
ment and that was to give the Provinces interested the 
fullest liberty consistent with the new relations they were 
about assuming. The Parliamentary opposition to the 
measure was much less than might have been expected 
when it is remembered that the opponents of Confedera- 
tion had representatives in London, well able to present 
objections from their standpoint, who had the ear of Mr. 
Bright and other members of Parliament. Her Majesty 
took a deep interest in the measure when before Parlia- 
ment, and expressed that interest to members of the de- 
legation, adding that she felt a great affection for her 
Canadian subjects, they being so loyal. While the bill 
was before the House of Lords Messrs. Macdonald, 
Cartier, Gait, Tupper and Tilley, were honored by a 
private presentation to her Majesty, at Buckingham 
Palace. Later on all the members of the Conference were 
presented at a drawing room at the same place. 

The New Brunswick delegates returned to England in 
the spring of 1867, having completed their labors, and 
the Legislature was called together on the 8th of May. 
The business before it was of great importance, for the 
Province was entering upon a new era as a member of 
the Canadian Confederation, and the Legislature was 
about to lose a portion of its powers which were delegated 


to the Federal Parliament. It is not, however, necessary 
to enter into any details of the work of the session which 
was done without any particular difficulty, the opposition 
being too weak to oppose seriously the measures of the 
government. It was felt on all sides that as twelve 
members of the Legislative Council were about to be- 
come members of the Senate of Canada, and as fifteen re- 
presentatives were to be elected to the House of Commons, 
most of whom would come from the House of Assembly, 
a striking change would take place in the composition of 
the Legislature, which would be deprived of the services 
at once of a large number of its ablest men. One of the 
important bills of the session was the passage of the Act 
establishing County Courts in the Province, and in respect 
to this measure a difference of opinion took place between 
Mr. John M. Johnson, one of the delegates, and member 
for Northumberland, and his fellow delegates to England. 
He thought that the Legislature had no authority under 
the terms of Confederation, or from any understanding 
between the delegates while in England, to create County 
Courts, while the other delegates held a different view. 
The Act was passed, however, and has proved to be one 
of the most useful ever placed upon the statute book, 
relieving the Supreme Court of many cases, both civil and 
criminal, which would otherwise block its business, and 
enabling them to be disposed of more rapidly than before. 
The County Court judges appointed under this Act were, 
with one exception, members of the Legislature, and this 
made another serious drain upon its experienced members. 


During the last session of the old New Brunswick 
Legislature, measures were also taken to secure the com- 
pletion of the line of railway from St. John to the border 
of Maine, generally known as the Western Extension. 
The government of New Brunswick, which had already 
given a subsidy of ten thousand dollars a mile to the 
enterprise under the Act passed in 1863, agreed to take 
three hundred thousand dollars worth of the stock of the 
road. Under the stimulus of this additional subsidy the 
work rapidly advanced and railroad connection between 
St. John and Bangor, where it joined the American sys- 
tem of railroads, was established. The Legislature pro- 
rogued on the 17th day of June, thus bringing to an end 
the old independent Legislature of the Province which 
had done its work for so many years, to be replaced by a 
Legislature, shorn of a considerable part of its powers, but 
still efficient for good or evil because of its ability to pass 
laws profoundly affecting the material and moral welfare 
of the Province. Many men looked upon this dissolution 
of old ties with something like sadness, but to others it 
appeared like the dawning of a better day for the Prov- 
ince of New Brunswick as well as for the other Prov- 
inces of British North America. 

The British North America Act, by which the Pro- 
vinces of Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and 
Nova Scotia were bound into a Confederation, came into 
force by royal proclamation on the first day of July, 1867. 
When it is considered how vast and vital a change this 
measure brought about it is surprising that it produced 


so little excitement anywhere. With the exception of 
one or two demonstrations which were made with flags 
by persons hostile to Confederation, in the Province of 
New Brunswick, which had been so much excited 
during two elections, it was received with perfect calm- 
ness, and although for some years afterwards there were 
always a number of persons opposed to union who pre- 
dicted direful things from Confederation and thought it 
must finally be dissolved, the voices of such persons were 
finally silenced either by death or by acquiescence in the 
situation. Now it may be safely declared that the 
Canadian Confederation stands upon as secure a founda- 
tion as any other government in the civilized world, and 
is much less likely to break in pieces than the great re- 
public to the south of us, where differences of climate and 
of products and resources seem to have created separate 
interests, which to an outside observer appear able to 
threaten the stability of the nation. 

In June, 1867. the Hon. John A. Macdonald, then 
leader of the government of Canada, was encrusted by 
Lord Monk, then Governor General, with the formation 
of a ministry for the Dominion. Mr. Macdonald natur- 
ally experienced a good deal of difficulty in making his 
arrangements. In the formation of the first ministry 
much care was necessary ; provincial and national inter- 
ests were to be thought of and denominational claims had 
to receive some attention. But the greatest difficulty arose 
with respect to old party lines. Mr. Macdonald consid- 
ered that to a considerable extent old party lines could 


not be recognized, and selected his men from the leading 
advocates of Confederation belonging to both the Con- 
servative and Liberal parties, and acting upon this sug- 
gestion, named seven Conservatives and six Liberals. 
The Liberals included the names of Mr. Rowland and 
Mr. McDougal for Ontario. A large number of the 
Liberals of Ontario, including George Brown and Alex. 
Mackenzie, opposed this arrangement, called a public 
meeting in Toronto and passed resolutions in favor of a 
strictly party government on old lines. It declared hos- 
tility to the proposal for a coalition and resolved to oppose 
Messrs. Howland and Mr. McDougal should they accept 
office under Mr. Macdonald when they returned to their 
constituents. This decision was carried out, but both 
Mr. Howland and Mr. McDougal were returned with 
good majorities. In this first ministry there were five 
members from Ontario: John A. Macdonald, William 
McDougal, W. P. Howland, A. J. F. Blair and Alex. 
Campbell ; four from Quebec : Messrs. George E. Carder, 
Alex. T. Gait, J. C. Chapais and Hector L. Langevin ; 
two from Nova Scotia : Adams G. Archibald and Edward 
Kenny ; and two from New Brunswick : S. L. Tilley and 
Peter Mitchell. Nine of the members were Protestants 
and four were Eoman Catholics. 

The wisdom of the course adopted will be apparent 
when it is remembered that the question of Confederation 
was not settled or carried on old party lines, some of the 
Conservatives opposing and some Liberals supporting it. 
This was clearly the case in New Brunswick, as shown 


by the last two elections held here. About one-third of 
the Liberal party and a like proportion of the Conserva- 
tive party opposed Confederation at the second election. 
To have formed the first government on old party lines 
would have necessitated the selection of some men who 
were opposed to the union, and whose efforts might not 
have been devoted to making it a success. The name of 
Liberal-Conservative was given to the new party, com- 
posed, as it was, of men of both parties. 

The first Confederation ministry was a very strong 
one. The Hon. John A. Macdonald became Premier and 
Minister of Justice ; the Hon. George E. Cartier was 
Minister of Militia and Defence ; Alexander T. Gait was 
Minister of Finance ; the Hon. William McDougal was 
Minister of Public Works ; Hon. W. P. Howland was 
Minister of Inland Revenue ; Hon. A. J. F. Blair, Presi- 
dent of the Privy Council ; Hon. Alex. Campbell, Post 
Master General ; Hon. J. C. Chapais, Minister of Agri- 
culture ; Hon. Hector L. Langevin, Secretary of State. 
Mr. Tilley became Minister of Customs and Mr. Mitchell 
became Minister of Marine and Fisheries, while the two 
Nova Scotia representatives, Messrs. Archibald and 
Kenny, became respectively Secretary of State for the 
Provinces and Receiver General. 

It will thus be seen that the Maritime Provinces had 
four representatives of the Crown out of thirteen mem- 
bers of the Cabinet, and this proportion has generally 
been maintained since that time, so that the fears of those 
who anticipated that the Provinces by the sea would not 


receive fair treatment in the distribution of high offices 
have proved to be groundless. So far has this been 
from being the case that the Maritime Province mem- 
bers of the government appear always to have occu- 
pied a very influential position in it, and the late 
lamented Premier was a representative of the Maritime 
Provinces, while the highly important office of Minister of 
Finance is also held by a Maritime representative. 

The office of Minister of Customs, which Mr. Tilley 
received, was thought by some of his friends to be less 
important than he deserved, they being of the opinion 
that he should have been made Minister of Finance. 
This office, however, went to Mr. Gait, who, owing to a 
difference with the rest of the government, resigned four 
months later, his place in the Cabinet being taken by Sir 
John Kose, who held the office of Finance Minister until 
October, 1869, Sir Francis Hincks then receiving the ap- 
pointment. It was not until the resignation of the latter 
in February, 1873, that Mr. Tilley became Minister of 
Finance. The office to which he was appointed, however, 
was one of great importance, involving as it did the re- 
organization of the entire establishment of the Customs of 
Canada, and it gave ample scope for his great ability as a 
business man. 

The elections for the House of Commons in the new 
Parliament of Canada took place in August, the Hon. 
Mr. Tilley being chosen to represent the City of St. John, 
and the Hon. John H. Gray the County. It had been 
expected that in view of the fact that these men 


had been so largely instrumental in bringing about 
Confederation they would have been allowed to walk the 
course unopposed. This was the case with Mr. Gray, 
whose candidature met with no opposition; but Mr. Til- 
ley was opposed by Mr. John Wilson, who received a 
very small vote. This needless and futile opposition to 
the candidature of a man who deserved so well from the 
Province, was merely one of the proofs of the existence 
of political rancor in the breasts of those who had been 
defeated on the Confederation question. * 

The first Parliament of United Canada met on the 6th 
of November 1867, and the address was moved by the 
Hon. Charles Fisher, who had been elected to represent 
the County of York. The session was a very long one, 
lasting until the 22nd of May of the following year ; but 
there was an adjournment, extending from December 21st, 
to the 20th March. This meeting of Parliament was the 
most memorable ever held in Canada, because it brought 
together for the first time, the representatives of all the 
Provinces, and the ablest men of all .political parties. 
The people of Ontario and Quebec were little known to the 
people of the Maritime Provinces, and those who resided 
in the larger Provinces naturally enough knew compari- 
tively little of their fellow-subjects who dwelt by the 
sea, and had become members of the new Confederation. 
It was expected by some ,that our Maritime Province 
representatives would be completely overshadowed by 
men of greater political reputation who dwelt in the 
larger Provinces, but this did not prove to be the case. 


The Maritime representatives at once took a leading posi- 
tion in Parliament, and this position they have steadily 
maintained down to the present time. No man stood 
better in the House of Commons than the representative 
from St. John, the Hon. S. L. Tilley. At that time Her 
Majesty the Queen, in acknowledgment of his services in 
the cause of Confederation, had created him a Companion 
of the Bath, a distinction which was also given to the 
Hon. Charles Tupper, of Nova Scotia. 

A vast amount of business had to be disposed of at 
the first session of the Parliament of Canada. Although 
the Union Act embodied the plan upon which Confeder- 
ation was founded, it was necessary to supplement it by 
a great deal of other legislation, for the purpose of inter- 
preting it and making preparations for the practical 
working of the constitution. In all the discussions rela- 
tive to the necessary legislation which had to be passed 
at that time, Mr. Tilley took a prominent part, and, when 
the session was over, he had established in the House of 
Commons, as fully as he had in the Legislature of New 
Brunswick, a reputation for ability as a speaker and as a 
man of affairs. He was looked upon as one whose wide 
knowledge of the needs of the Province and whose experi- 
ence in departmental work were likely to be of the 
greatest use to the Confederation. His high character at 
all times gave a weight to his words and caused him to 
be listened to with the most respectful attention. During 
the whole period that Mr. Tilley sat in the House of 
Commons he had the pleasure of knowing that even his 


political enemies respected his character and attainments, 
and with the exception of the Premier, perhaps no man 
wielded a more potent influence in the councils of the 
Dominion than he. It is not intended in this publication 
to trace to any full extent the career of Sir S. L. Tilley 
in the Parliament of Canada ; that belongs rather to the 
history of the Dominion than to a work of the limited 
scope of the present volume, and only so much of his 
public life in the House of Commons will be dealt with 
as seems necessary to complete the story of his personal 
history. Mr. Tilley continued to hold the position of 
Minister of Customs during the whole of the term of the 
first Parliament of Canada. This Parliament held five 
sessions and dissolved in the summer of 1872, the general 
election being in the month of July, upon -which occasion 
Mr. Tilley was re-elected for the City of St. John without 

The second Parliament met on the 5th of March, 1873. 
But eleven days before that time Mr. Tilley had become 
Minister of Finance, succeeding Sir Francis Hincks, who 
resigned after holding the office of Finance Minister for 
more than three years. The advancement of Mr. Tilley 
to this responsible and influential position was very 
pleasing to his friends, and was received with great satis- 
faction by the country generally. 



The first Confederation ministry of Canada resigned 
office on the 5th November, 1873. The circumstances 
which led to that action are a part of the political history 
of the Dominion and need not be gone into in this volume. 
With regard to Mr. Tilley it is sufficient to say that 
whatever basis there may have been for charges of cor- 
ruption in connection with the Pacific scandal against 
other persons in the government, none were ever preferred 
against him, and no one suspected or believed that he 
had anything whatever to do with the transactions with 
Sir Hugh Allan and his associates which led to the 
government being compelled to resign. Prior to the 
resignation of the government Mr. Tilley had been 
appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New 
Brunswick in succession of the Hon. Lemuel A. Wilmot, 
whose term had expired. Every one felt that the honor 
thus bestowed upon Mr. Tilley was a most fitting one, 
for he was New Brunswick's foremost son in political life, 
and had reached his high position purely through his own 
ability and his own good character. However much 
people may have differed in regard to Mr. Tilley's 
political views, there has never been any difference of 
opinion in regard to his acceptability as the Governor of 


the Province. He filled that high position a greater 
number of years than any of his successors are likely to 
do, and it is admitted on all sides that no man could 
have performed the duties of that high office better than 
he has done. 

Mr. Tilley took up his residence in the old government 
house, Fredericton, and he must have been struck with 
the changed aspect of affairs from that which existed 
under the old regime, when our Lieutenant Governors 
were appointed by the British Government and sent out 
from England to preside over the councils of a people of 
whom they knew little or nothing. Many of these former 
Governors had been military men and were more 
accustomed to habits of command than to deal with per- 
plexing questions of frtate government. They looked 
with a very natural degree of impatience on the attempts 
which the people of the Province were making to get the 
full control of their own affairs. Under the old regime 
the Governor was surrounded with military guards; 
sentries paced the walks and stood at the entrances of the 
government house, and a vast amount of ceremony had 
to be gone through with before any one could see the 
distinguished occupant of that building* Government 
house, under the old system, had been the scene of many 
festivities, not always distinguished by their sobriety, and 
strange stories are told of many, high in New Brunswick 
political life, who had drunk overmuch at the dinner-table 
of the Governor. All this was now to be changed. The 
Hon. Lemuel A. Wilmot, although a life-long temperance 


man a ad total abstainer, had kept up the old customs with 
respect to the use of liquor in government house, and 
thereby incurred no small amount of adverse criticism 
from those who thought he should have discouraged the 
use of wine and other intoxicating beverages. The 
temperance views of Mr. Tilley were of a more consistent 
order, and he carried out, in practice at government house, 
those principles of total abstinence which had dis- 
tinguished him throughout his entire career. So long as 
he was Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick no 
intoxicating beverages of any kind were ever used at his 
table. Some of the old-time frequenters of government 
house were at first inclined to object to this change in its 
customs, but the general voice of the people of the Prov- 
ince was in favor of the change, and it was felt that in 
acting as he did the Lieutenant Governor had merely 
given another proof of his consistency as a man and of 
his attachment to those principles which he had embraced 
so early in life. The withdrawal of the British troops 
from Canada before the Lieutenant Governorship of Mr. 
Tilley commenced relieved him of any embarrassment in 
regard to dispensing with military guards and sentries, 
but all pretentious accompaniments of authority were 
very foreign to his nature, and he always showed, by the 
severe simplicity of his life, that he felt he was one* 
of the people, and that it was his duty as 'well as his 
pleasure to permit all who had any reason to see him to 
have free access to him, without the necessity of going 
through any formal process. 

When Mr. Tilley became Lieutenant Governor of the 
Province, he was fifty-five years of age, and he seems to 


have thought that his political career was ended because, 
by the time his term of office expired in its natural course, 
he would have reached the age of sixty, a period of life 
when a man is not likely to make a new entrance into 
public life. But circumstances, quite outside of any 
desire on his part, made it almost necessary for him to 
change his determination, and during the summer of 1878, 
when the general election was imminent, he found himself 
pressed by his old political friends to once more become 
the candidate of his party, for his old constituency in the 
City of St. John. There was great enthusiasm amongst 
them when it was announced that he would comply with 
their wishes and that he had resigned the Lieutenant 
Governorship. The result of that general election is well 
known. The Liberal party, -which had succeeded to the 
government less than five years before, with a large 
majority in the House of Commons, experienced a severe 
defeat, and the Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, seeing this, 
very properly did not await the assembling of Parliament, 
but, like the honest man that he was, sent in the resigna- 
tion of the ministry, and Sir John A. Macdonald was 
called upon to form a new government. In the cabinet 
thus constructed Mr. Tilley resumed his old office of 
Minister of Finance, and one of his first duties was to 
assist in the framing of a new tariff which was to be 
formed in accordance with the principles upon which the 
election had been run, of protection to home industries. 
This idea of protection had not been heard of in the 
Canadian Confederation as the policy of any political 


party until Sir John A. Macdonald took it up about a year 
before the general election, but it proved a winning card 
and was the means of giving the new government a long 
lease of power. Mr. Tilley's views regarding the tariff 
and the needs of Canada, were given very fully in his 
budget speech, which was delivered in February, 1879, 
and the following extracts from it will convey to the 
reader a clearer idea of them than any mere recital : 

" Mr. Chairman, it is only recently, Sir, that I have 
fully realized the great changes that have taken place 
throughout the Dominion of Canada since I last had the 
honor of a seat in Parliament, and, to-day, I fully realize 
the great change that has taken place, and the increased 
difficulties devolving upon me, as Finance Minister, 
compared with the position of affairs when I submitted 
my financial statement in 1873. Then, Sir, my work 
was a very easy one indeed. Honorable members on the 
opposite benches were pleased, on that occassion, to 
compliment me on that statement, but I felt that I had 
earned no compliment ; that if that speech was acceptable 
to the House at that time, it was because of the satisfac- 
tory statements I was able to make with reference to the 
condition of the Dominion and of the finances of the 
Dominion. Then, Sir, I was able to point to steady and 
increasing surplus and revenue, and that in the face of 
a steady reduction of taxation. Then, Sir, I was able to 
point, with some degree of confidence, to the prospective 
expenditures of the Dominion, extending over ten years. 
To-dav I cannot speak of it with the same confidence. 


Then the construction of the Pacific Railway \vas under 
regulations that confined and limited the liabilities of the 
Dominion to $30,000,000. To-day I am not in a position 
to say what expenditure or responsibilities we may have 
to incur with reference to that great undertaking. There 
has been a change in the policy, but it will become the 
duty of the Government and of Parliament to consider, 
while we have not reached the limit of our liabilities, 
whether we cannot construct that great work, with 
200,000,000 acres of land lying within the wheat area of 
that magnificent country. Then, Sir, I could point with 
pride and with satisfaction to the increased capital of 
our banks and the large dividends they paid. To-day, I 
regret to say, that we must point to depreciated values 
and to small dividends. Then 1 could point to the gen- 
eral prosperity of the country. To-day we must 'all admit 
that it is greatly depressed. Then I could point with 
satisfaction to the various manufacturing industries that 
were in operation throughout the length and breadth of 
the Dominion, remunerative to the men who had invested 
their capital in them, and giving employment to tens of 
thousands. To-day many of the furnaces are cold, the 
machinery in many cases is idle, and those establishments 
that are in operation are only employed half time, and 
are scarcely paying the interest on the money invested. 
Then, Sir, we could point to the agricultural interest as 
most prosperous, with a satisfactory home market and 
satisfactory prices abroad. To-day they have a limited 
market, with low prices and anything but a satisfactory 


market abroad. Then, Sir, we could point to a very 
valuable and extensive West India trade ; to-day it does 
not exist. Then, Sir, we could point to a profitable and 
direct tea trade, that has been demoralized arid destroyed. 
Then everything appeared to be prosperous ; to-day, though 
it looks gloomy, I hope there is a silver lining to the 
cloud, that we may yet see illuminating the whole of the 
Dominion and changing our present position to one of 
happiness and prosperity. Mr. Chairman, there has been, 
and very naturally so, a good deal of interest and anxiety 
manifested on the part of the friends of the National 
Policy, as it is called, in regard to its early introduction. 
I can quite understand that, because, believing as they do, 
and as a majority of this House do, that that policy is 
calculated to bring prosperity to the country, it was but 
natural that they should be anxious for its introduction, 
and that not a day should be lost. And it is satisfactory 
to know that, great and difficult as is the responsibility 
which rests upon me here, I trust that the propositions I 
am about to make will be sustained, not only by a majority 
of this House, but by an overwhelming majority in the 

" I can appeal to other finance ministers, and especially 
to my predecessor, who, in 1874, made several changes 
in the tariff of that day, to speak of the difficulties there 
are in making even as few changes as were then made. 
But if we undertake, as the present Government have 
undertaken, to readjust and reorganize and, 1 may say, 
make an entirely new tariff, having for its object not only 


the realization of $2,000,000 more revenue than will be 
collected this year, but, in addition to providing for that 
deficiency, to adjust that policy, or that tariff with a view 
of making what has been, and is to-day, declared the 
policy of the majority of this House I mean the pro- 
tection of the industries of the country the magnitude 
of the undertaking will be the better appreciated. Sir, 
we have invited gentlemen from all parts of the Dominion, 
and representing all the interests in the Dominion, to assist 
us in the readjustment of the tariff, because we did not 
feel, though perhaps we possess an average intelligence in 
ordinary Government matters, we did not feel that we 
knew everything. We did not feel that we were prepared, 
without advice and assistance from men of experience 
with reference to these matters, to readjust and make a 
judicious tariff. We, therefore, invited those who were 
interested in the general interests of the country, or 
interested in any special interests. Gentlemen who took 
an opposite view, met us and discussed these questions, 
and I may say that, down to as late a period as yesterday, 
though the propositions are submitted to-day, we were 
favored with the co-operation and opinions of gentlemen 
who represent their particular or general views with 
reference to the great questions we have under considera- 
tion. We have labored zealously and arduously, and I 
trust it will be found successfully, and we are now about 
to submit our views for the consideration of this House. 
" In my opening remarks, I referred to the difficulty 
with which we have to grapple. We must, if we meet 


the expenditure of next year, our interest, the charges 
upon our revenue, and tlie necessary expenditure which 
the country has a right to expect, ask from this House 
the authority to receive a revenue from the customs of 
$2,000,000 more than received this year. We have also, 
in arranging for the levying of that duty, to consider how 
it can best be imposed to encourage the industries of the 
country. It would be well, before I enter upon the con- 
sideration of this point of the question, to ask ourselves 
what are the circumstances that have led to the reduction 
of revenue and to the present depressed condition of the 
country. With reference to the reduction of the revenue, 
I have heard it remarked that it is strange that the 
reduction of the revenues of late years has been so great. 
Perhaps there is as much prosperity here as in many 
other parts of the world ; then why was there such a 
falling off in our revenue compared with the revenues of 
the United States and Great Britain ? When we examine 
the case, we ascertain the fact that nearly all the revenue 
of the United States is from specific duties, and, therefore, 
the decrease in the value of imports does not, in that 
country materially affect the revenue, whereas in the 
Dominion the duties are principally ad valorem, and, 
therefore, largely affected by the decrease in the value of 
goods imported. It is established by comparative state- 
ments that the goods imported into the Dominion have 
decreased in value to the extent of 33 to -40 per cent., 
and the duties on those imports, being levied largely on 
the ad valorem principle, there has been a falling off in 


the revenues of the Dominion in a corresponding propor- 
tion. In the propositions I am about to make it will be 
shown and I state this fact in order that the House 
may perfectly understand the nature and extent of those 
propositions that on many articles on which we propose 
an increase of duty, 25 per cent, levied on the value 
will not bring more per yard than we received on a 15 
per cent, tariff in 1873. We will, by way of illustration, 
take 100 yards of cloth, valued in 1873 at SI a yard, 
the duty collected on it would have been $15. The same 
cloth is worth now but 60c. per yard, and it would 
require a tariff of 25 per cent, to produce the amount of 
revenue received from the same quantity in 1873. It is 
important to bear this fact in mind, because, while it may 
be thought on the other side of the Atlantic, and by our 
neighbors, that we are increasing largely our taxation, 
and imposing increased duties on the products of other 
countries, it is well to make it understood that, if our 
duties had been specific, we would have been receiving 
the same amount of revenue as in 1873. There are 
other difficulties ; the volume of imports has not much 
diminished. Regarding the matter as I do, I think it is 
to be regretted that the volume of imports has not been 
materially reduced. I look upon the large imports, ever 
since the Dominion was organized, showing a large bal- 
ance of trade against it, as one of the causes of the 
troubles with which we have to contend one of the 
difficulties that it is our duty, if possible, to remedy. 
They have been decreasing to a certain extent, but are 


still very large, showing distinctly and clearly, in my 
judgment, that they ought still to be further diminished. 
I know there are honorable gentlemen here and elsewhere 
who entertain the opinion that the balance between the 
imports and exports is not a correct mode of judging of 
the condition of a country. I know that opinion is 
entertained by honorable gentlemen opposite. But let 
us, just for a few moments, turn our attention to the con- 
dition which England occupies to-day, as compared with 
the United States. From 1867 to 1873, the balance of 
trade against England amounted, in the average, to 
50,000,000 sterling. It is quite true that difference was 
met by interest, the returns from her vessels, and in 
various ways, to an extent largely counterbalancing it, or 
leaving a balance in favor of England. By the last return 
I have, which covers the year 1877, the balance of trade 
against her is shown to be 140,000,000 sterling, or 
$700,000,000 per year. The balance of trade against the 
United States in 1872 was $116,000,000 ; in 1873 it was 
reduced to $66,000,000 ; but last calendar year showed 
that the balance in favor of the United States had reached 
8300,000,000 a year. I think, then, without entering 
into a discussion here of Free Trade and Protection, so 
far as it affects England and the United States, we may 
fairly conclude that the prosperity of the one country, at 
this moment, is caused in a great measure by the large 
surplus in its favor, and the depression in the other by the 
large deficiency. Under these circumstances, it appears 
to me, we should turn our attention to the best means of 


reducing the volume of our imports from all parts of the 
world. Let me refer to some circumstances that led to 
the present depression in the revenue. During and after 
the war in the United States, it is well understood that 
the country lost a large portion of its export trade, and 
its manufacturing industries had been to a certain extent 
paralyzed, and it was only about 1872 or 1873 that they 
really commenced to restore their manufacturing indus- 
tries and endeavoured to find an extended market elsewhere 
for the manufactures of their country. Lying, as we do. 
alongside that great country, we are looked upon as a 
desirable market for their surplus products, and our 
American neighbors, always competent to judge of their 
own interests, and act wisely in regard to them, put forth 
every effort to obtain access to our market. It is well 
known by the term slaughter market what they have been 
doing for the last four or five years in Canada ; that in 
order to find an outlet for their surplus manufactures they 
have been willing to send them into this country at any 
price that would be a little below that of the Canadian 
manufacturer. It is well known also that they have had 
their agents in every part of the Dominion seeking 
purchasers for their surplus, and that those agents have 
been enabled, under our existing laws, to enter those goods 
at a price, much lower than they ought to have paid, 
which was their value in the place of purchase. It is 
well known, moreover, that the United States Government, 
in order to encourage special interests in the country, 
granted a bounty upon certain manufactures, and gave to 


them the exclusive market of the Dominion, and, under 
those circumstances, we have lost a very important trade, 
possessed previous to 1873, in addition to the loss of the 
West India trade, and by the repeal of the 10 per cent, 
duty on tea, we lost the direct tea trade, and all the 
advantages resulting from it, by its transfer from the 
Dominion to New York and Boston. Under all those 
circumstances, and with the high duty imposed by the 
United States on the agricultural products of the Domin- 
ion, by which we are, to a great extent, excluded from 
them, while the manufactures of that country are forced 
into our market, we could not expect prosperity or success 
in the Dominion, so long as that state of things continued. 
These are some of the difficulties which have led to our 
present state of affairs. Now, after having made these 
few remarks on that head, I desire to call the attention of 
the House to the remedy. I know this is a difficult 
question that it is the opinion of some honorable 
members, that no matter what proposition you may make, 
or what legislation you introduce, it cannot improve or 
increase the prosperity of the country. The Government 
entertain a different opinion. I may say, at the outset, it 
would have been much more agreeable if we could have 
met the House without the necessity of increased tax- 
ation. But in the imposition of the duties we are now 
about to ask the House to impose, it may be said we will 
receive from the imports from foreign countries a larger 
portion of the $2,000,000 we require than we will receive 
from the Mother Country. I believe such will be the 


effect, but I think that in making such a statement to 
this House, belonging, as we do, to and forming a part of 
that great country a country that receives our natural 
products without any taxation; everything we have to 
send to her apart from our national feelings, I think 
this House will not object if, in the propositions before 
me, they touch more heavily the imports from foreign 
countries than from our Fatherland. I have this to say 
to our American friends: In ]865 they abrogated the 
Reciprocity Treaty, and from that day to the present a 
large portion of the imports from that country into the 
Dominion have been admitted free. We have hoped, but 
hoped in vain, that by the adoption of that policy we 
would lead our American friends to treat us in a more 
liberal spirit with regard to the same articles. Well, 
after having waited twelve years for the consideration of 
this subject, the Government requiring more revenue, 
have determined to ask this House to impose upon the 
products of the United States that have been free, such a 
duty as may seem consistent with our position. But the 
Government couple with the proposal, in order to shew 
that we approach this question with no unfriendly spirit, 
a resolution that will be laid on the table containing a 
proposition to this effect : That, as to the articles named, 
which are the natural products of the country, including 
lumber, if the United States take off the duties in part or 
whole, we are prepared to meet them with equal conces- 
sions. The Government believe in a reciprocity tariff, yet 
may discuss Free Trade or Protection, but the question of 


to-day is : Shall we have a reciprocity tariff, or a one-sided 

" We found, Sir, as I stated before, that it was important 
to encourage the exportation of our manufactures to 
foreign countries, and we are prepared now to say that 
the policy of the Government is to give every manufac- 
turer in the Dominion of Canada a drawback on the 
duties they may pay upon goods used in the manufactures 
of the Dominion exported. We found also. Sir, that 
under the bounty system of some foreign countries, our 
sugar-refining trade, and other interests, were materially 
affected. Well, Sir, the Government have decided to ask 
this House to impose countervailing duties und,er such 
circumstances. I trust that this proposition will receive 
the support of both sides of the House, because some 
six months since, when the deputation of sugar refiners 
in London waited upon Mr. Gladstone and Sir Stafford 
Xorthcote, both of them being gentlemen representing 
free-trade views, they declared, in the most emphatic 
terms, that when a Government came in and interfered 
with the legitimate trade of the country they were pre- 
pared to impose countervailing duties. To make this 
matter plain, and place it beyond dispute, the Govern- 
ment propose to ask the House for authority ty collect on 
all such articles an ad valorem duty on their value, 
irrespective of drawbacks. My colleagues say, explain it. 
For instance, a cent and a quarter drawback per pound is 
granted on cut nails exported to the Dominion of Canada ; 
the duty will be calculated on the value of the nails, 


irrespective of the drawback. Now a bounty is given 
on sugar in excess of that which is paid by the sugar 
refiners ; the Government will exact an ad valorem, duty 
on the value of that sugar, irrespective of the drawback. 
I may also state, Mr. Chairman, that another reason 
why, I think, our American neighbors should not object to 
the imposition of the duties we propose is this : It is a 
fact, though not generally known, that the average per- 
centage of revenue that is imposed on all imports into 
the Dominion of Canada, at the present time, taking the 
returns for last year as our criterion, is 13f per cent, the 
amount of duty collected on the imports from Great 
Britain, is a fraction under 17| per cent.; while the 
amount of duty collected on the imports from the United 
States is a fraction under 10 per cent. If our friends 
across the border will not give us the Eeciprocity Treaty 
again, they cannot find anything to object to in the 
imposition of those duties, if it bears a little more heavily 
on the articles imported from that country than they 

Sir Leonard Tilley's speech in introducing the new 
tariff was well received, and made a strong impression 
upon those who heard it. It was admitted, even by 
those who were opposed to the views he held, that he 
showed a great mastery of the details, and that he 
illustrated in a very clear manner the views of those who 
maintained that the country was suffering because the 
duties imposed upon foreign goods were not sufficiently 
high to protect Canadian manufactures. For nearly 


eighteen years this tariff has been in force, and every 
man in Canada has had liberty to judge for himself as to 
how far it has answered the expectations of those who 
framed it. Certainly a trial of such length of one 
particular system ought to have supplied some criterion 
by which to test its value, and to enable the public to 
judge how far it has been advantageous to the country. 
The result of the recent Dominion elections would 
seem to indicate that public opinion in Canada is not by 
any means decided as to the value of the National Policy. 
It is not the intention of this volume to deal to any full 
extent with the career of Sir Leonard Tilley during his 
second term of office as Minister of Finance of Canada. 
To enter into that phase of his career would be to relate 
the history of Canada, for he was but one member of the 
government, and not its leader. It admitted, however, 
that in respect to all financial questions Sir Leonard 
showed the same ability that had characterized his career 
during his previous term of office, and he was looked 
upon by his colleagues as a man in whose judgment the 
utmost confidence could be placed. At this time, how- 
ever, his health began to fail, and the disease, which 
finally carried him off, developed itself to such an extent 
that he was told he must cease all active work or his days 
would be shortened. Under these circumstances, it 
became necessary for him to retire from the severe duties 
of his very responsible and laborious office, and on the 
31st day of October, 1885, he was again appointed 
Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, an office which 


he had filled with so much acceptance between 1873 and 
1878. Sir Leonard Tilley continued Lieutenant Governor 
during a second term, for almost eight years, or until the 
appointment of Hon. John Boyd to that position. 

Sir Leonard Tilley was Lieutenant Governor of New 
Brunswick for considerably more than twelve years, a 
record which is not likely to be equalled by any future 
Lieutenant Governor for many years to come, if ever. 

There was no event of particular importance to dis- 
tinguish Sir Leonard Tilley's second term as Lieutenant 
Governor. Hon. Mr. Blair remained Premier of New 
Brunswick during the whole period, and there was no 
political crisis of any importance to alter the complexion 
of affairs. The only event in connection with the 
Governorship, which is worthy of being mentioned, is the 
change that was made by the abandonment of the old 
Government house at Fredericton as the residence of 
the Lieutenant Governor. This building had become 
antiquated, and in other ways unsuitable for the occupa- 
tion of a Lieutenant Governor, and its maintenance 
involved a very large expenditure annually, which the 
province was unable to afford. It was therefore 
determined that in future the Lieutenant Gevernor should 
provide his own residence, and that the amount expended 
on Government House annually should be saved. Sir 
Leonard Tilley built a residence in St. John, in which he 
lived for the remainder of his life, and the seat of govern- 
ment, so far as his presence was concerned, was transferred 
to that city. Sir Leonard Tilley was always on the most 


cordial terms with the various premiers who administered 
the government of New Brunswick during his terms of 
office. His relations with the Hon. Mr. Blair were 
particularly friendly, and during the whole period of 
almost eight years in which they were associated 
not the slightest difficulty ever arose between them. Sir 
Leonard Tilley knew well the strict constitutional limits 
of his office, and was always careful to confine his activi- 
ties within their proper scope. The lessons of responsible 
government which he had learned in his early youth, and 
which had been the study of his manhood, enabled him 
to avoid those pitfalls which beset the steps of imported 
Lieutenant Governors, who imagine that their official 
position gives them an authority to which they were not 
entitled. One of the most beneficial changes which 
Confederation brought to the Provinces of Canada was 
the making of Canadians Lieutenant Governors of these 
Provinces, and thereby avoiding those difficulties which 
had been so frequent and constant in an earlier period 
of their history, when military officers, without any 
experience of civil government, were sent out to administer 
the affairs of these colonies. . 

During Sir Leonard Tilley's last term of office, and 
after its close, he abstained wholly from any interference 
with public affairs in the Dominion, and although he still 
remained steadfastly attached to the Liberal-Conservative 
party, he gave no outward sign of his desire for their 
success. This neutral position which he assumed in 
political matters had the effect of drawing towards him 


thousands of his fellow-countrymen who, in former 
years, had been accustomed to regard him with unfriendly 
feelings. They forgot the active political leader, and saw 
only before them the aged governor, whose venerable 
figure and kindly face were so familiar at social or other 
gatherings, or whenever a good work was to be done for 
any good cause. In this way Sir Leonard Tilley grew to 
assume a new character in the public estimation, and at 
the time of his death the regret was as great on the part 
of those who had been his political opponents as among 
those who had been his associates in political warfare. 
This was one of the most pleasing features of his declining 
years, and one that gave him the greatest satisfaction, 
because it enabled him to feel that he enjoyed the affec- 
tionate regard of the whole body of the people. 



Sir Leonard Tilley for many years had suffered from 
an incurable disease, which had been mitigated by rest 
and medical treatment, but not removed. It was the 
knowledge of the fact that his life would be shortened if 
he continued in active political life that compelled him 
to leave the government in 1885. For many years before 
his death the malady had been so far subdued that it gave 
him comparatively little trouble, but any unusual exer- 
tion on his part was almost certain to arouse it again to 
activity, so that he was prevented on many occasions 
from taking part in public functions, which, under other 
circumstances, he would have been glad to attend. Still he 
always contrived to take his daily walk, and few who saw 
him ever suspected that he was constantly menanced by 
death. For three or four years before his decease his 
strength had been failing, he stooped more as he walked, 
and it was evident that he was not destined to enjoy 
many years more of life. Yet during the spring of 1896 
there was nothing whatever to indicate that the end was 
so near, for he went about as usual, and was able to pre- 
side at the annual meeting of the Loyalist Society, which 
was held during the last week in May. On that evening 
he appeared very bright and cheerful, and he entered 


with much interest into the discussion of the details of 
an outing which it was proposed the society should hold 
during the summer. Man proposes, God Disposes. Sir 
Leonard had gone to Rothesay early in June to spend a 
few weeks in that pleasant spot, and he appeared to be 
in his usual health until the night of the 10th of June, 
when he began to suffer great pain from a slight cut 
which he received in the foot. The symptoms became 
alarming and gave indications of blood poisoning, a condi- 
tion due to the disease from which he had suffered so 
many years. On the llth of June he was taken to Carleton 
House, his town residence, and from that time the doctors 
gave no hope of his recovery. It was one of the sad 
features of his illness that his life-long friend, and 
physician for many years, Dr. William Bayard, was unable 
to attend him, being himself confined to his bed by illness. 
After Sir Leonard Tilley reached his home in St. John 
he never rallied, and he was well aware that his end was 
near. He was attended by Dr. Inches and Dr. Murray 
McLaren, but he was beyond medical aid, and therefore 
the people of St. John, for several days before the event 
took place, were aware that their foremost citizen was 
dying. The time was one of great excitement, for the 
general election was near, yet the eyes of thousands were 
turned, from the moving panorama of active life which 
passed before them, to the silent chamber where the 
dying statesman was breathing his last. The regret and 
sympathy that was expressed were universal, and those 
who had been his life-long political opponents were not 


behind those who had been his friends in their kindly 

Sir Leonard Tilley died at 3 o'clock on the morning of 
the 25th of June, and the second day after the general 
election, which brought about the defeat of the party 
with which he had been so long identified. One who 
watched by his bedside during his last hours, and who 
was present when he passed away, has furnished the 
following account of the event which brought so much 
sorrow to such a wide circle of friends : 

" The last days of this great and good man were peace- 
ful and full of faith. One of the last wishes he 
expressed was that a plain tomb-stone should be erected 
to his memory with the words inscribed : ' His trust was 
in Jesus,' so that passers by might be helped in their 
earthly pilgrimage. He desired them to know that this 
had been the true sourca of his success, the power that 
had influenced bis life. 

" There was something pathetic in the thought that, as 
his life was calmly passing away, the party that he dearly 
loved was going out as well. Through all the day of the 
election he watched the hours, waiting anxiously to know 
the result of the contest. When he was told only of the 
result in New Brunswick the dying statesman said, ' I can 
go to sleep now, New Brunswick has done well.' He 
went to sleep without hearing of the defeat of his party 
throughout the country. But he was a man who always 
recognized ability outside of party. He was always 
looking for the good and noble in human nature, and if 


there was any chance of bringing the possessors of those 
qualities to the front, he desired that it should be done. 
The secret of his life was that he loved his God and his 
country. He always said he owed so much of his success 
to his good mother's teachings. In his earliest days he 
was much with her, and he always had great admiration 
for her strong character. She was a woman greatly 
respected and esteemed in the neighborhood in which she 
resided ; ever ready to help others in sickness or distress, 
and her services were much called into requisition upon 
all occasions. Her patient example was ever an incentive 
to him in his career, and when the end came it might be 
compared to a ship under full sail, the voyage over, with 
its storms all passed, quietly gliding into harbor, its pilot 
on board and the glory of the celestial city beaming 
before eyes that had looked long for it. We cannot see 
beyond the veil, but we know that he has entered 
into his reward." 

The death of Sir Leonard Tilley evoked expressions of 
sympathy and regret from all parts of the empire and 
from many states of the union. The letters and tele- 
grams of condolence which Lady Tilley received during 
the first days of her widowhood would of themselves fill 
a volume, showing how widely he was known and 

The funeral, which took place on the Saturday following 
his death, was one of the largest ever seen in St. John, 
and was attended by the Board of Trade, the Loyalist 
Society, the various temperance organizations, the mem- 


bers of the Provincial Government, and a vast concourse 
of prominent citizens. The services took place at St. 
John's Episcopal Church, and were conducted by the 
rector, the Kev. John deSoyres, assisted by the Kev. 
E. P. McKim, rector of St. Luke's church, with which 
Sir Leonard had been identified in his earlier years. The 
interment took place in the Rural Cemetery. 

Many references from the pulpits of St. John and 
the province were made on the Sunday following his 
death, and all the newspapers had long notices of the 
event and editorials on his life and character. The 
St. John Telegraph, which had been politically opposed 
to Sir Leonard Tilley for more than twenty years, said : 

" By the death of Sir Leonard Tilley, the Province of 
New Brunswick loses its most famous son, a man whose 
political career extended over a longer period and who 
was more successful in political life than any other states- 
man that this province has produced, and one whose 
death will be learned with regret, not only by thousands 
of attached friends, but by tens of thousands who never 
saw his face, but who looked upon him as their political 
leader and guide. Although Sir Leonard Tilley had been 
retired from active politics for more than ten years prior 
to his death, we are perhaps too 'near the time when he 
was a great political leader, to justly estimate his merits. 
Few people are able so far to separate themselves from 
their prejudices as to honestly criticise a friend or do full 
justice to an opponent, so that there must always be in 
contemporary opinions an element of weakness ; yet, we 


believe that the general view of the public will agree 
with us in expressing the belief that Sir Leonard Tilley 
was a man of high character, and of scrupulous honesty, 
an honor to the land which gave him birth, and one who 
had done much good for Canada. 

u Sir Leonard Tilley, by birth, came from the bluest 
blood of New England, for he was" a descendant of one of 
the Mayflower pilgrims, but he owed nothing of his suc- 
cess in life to this fact, and fortune showered no favors 
upon his birth. A boy who, at the age of 13, has to leave 
home, as he did, with an unfinished education, to seek his 
living in a strange city, may fairly claim to have been 
the architect of whatever fortune he succeeds in rearing 
for himself. Sir Leonard was emphatically a self-made 
man, and he would have been a leading citizen and an 
honored and influential member of this community, if he 
had never been elected to the legislature or to parliament, 
and never made a political speech. Under such circum- 
stances his great qualities would have developed them- 
selves along different lines, but they would have led him 
to fortune and to high consideration if not to as great a 
degree of fame as that to which he attained. As it was, 
he found himself forced into political life, almost without 
his own consent, and the new path into which his steps 
were thus so strangely directed led him to the highest 
honors his country could give, making him the leader of 
the government of New Brunswick, a cabinet minister of 
Canada, twice Lieutenant Governor of his native province, 


a Companion of the Balh, and a Knight Commander of 
St. Michael and St. George. 

" It is just 46 years since Sir Leonard Tilley gained his 
first step in political life by being elected one of the 
members for the City of St. John, and it was as a 
representative of this city in the legislature of New 
Brunswick and in the parliament of Canada that he 
gained his fame. He represented this city in five differ- 
ent legislatures and in four parliaments, his legislative 
career covered a period of 25 years, during practically 
the whole of which he was in office as a member ol the 
Provincial or Dominion Government. For thirteen years 
he was Lieutenant Governor, so that his official career 
extended over forty years, during the whole of which 
he was in positions of the highest responsibility and 
honor. Such a term of prosperous political life has 
had no parallel in Canada, and it is not likely that any 
public man now in Canada will be able to equal it. 

" Yet it would be a mistake to suppose that Sir Leonard 
Tilley's public life was all sunshine, or that he did not 
experience serious reverses. He was connected with 
three great political conflicts the battle for prohibition, 
the struggle for Confederation and the fight for the 
National Policy. In the first of these he was defeated, 
in the second, although at first worsted, he eventually 
succeeded, while as regards the third he was a victor at 
the beginning, but lived to learn of the defeat of the 
policy which he had labored to promote. There is surely 
something pathetic in the thought that on the 23rd of 


June, while the voters of Canada were depositing their 
ballots against the government, and recording their con- 
demnation of the National Policy, the statesman who did 
the most to create that policy was on his death bed, his 
life slowly ebbing away and nearing the margin of the 
dark dread river which all must cross. 

" Mr. Tilley's connection with the temperance move- 
ment naturally made him the champion of prohibition, 
and led to his passing a prohibitory liquor law during the 
legislative session of 1855. The law worked badly and 
a political crisis followed, for the Lieutenant Governor 
dissolved the House of Assembly, against the wishes of 
Mr. Tilley and the other members of the government, 
who at once resigned. In the elections which followed 
in the summer of 1856, Mr. Tilley suffered his first 
defeat, but a year later he was re-elected by his old 
constituency, and became the leader of a new goVern- 
ment. The prohibition question dropped out of sight and 
he suffered no further reverses until 1865, when he and 
his government were defeated on the question of Con- 
federation. A little more than a year later this adverse 
verdict was reversed, and Mr. Tilley became the leader of 
a government authorized to carry out the scheme of 
union between New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Canada. 

" It is on this phase of the deceased statesman's career 
that his friends can look back with the most satisfaction. 
With respect to the prohibition question he was in 
advance of his time, in respect to the protective system, 
known as the National Policy, he was behind the spirit 


of the age, for the attempt to make a country prosperous 
by a high tariff wall is an exploded fallacy. But with 
regard to Confederation the stand that he took was the 
correct one, for although Confederation has not done for 
us all that was claimed for it, it was a necessity, and it 
was the part of an enlightened statesman to do all in his 
power to promote it. 

" There have been many criticisms of Sir Leonard Tilley 
on the score of his long tenure of office and the high 
salaries attached to the positions which he filled. It 
ought, however, to be understood that he was a well-to-do 
man, and the owner of a large amount of property before 
he entered political life, and it may be safely said that he 
would have died a much richer man if he had continued 
to attend to his own private affairs, rather than those of 
the province and dominion. Indeed, Sir Leonard Tilley 
was a first-class man of business, and this was one of the 
main elements of his success. He was essentially a man 
of affairs, and during the whole of his political life he 
was looked upon as a safe adviser by his party and as 
one pre-eminently qualified to conduct the financial 
business of the country. 

" It is difficult to gauge accurately the exact position 
which Sir Leonard Tilley might have held as a statesman 
had the opportunity come to him. Sir John A. Macdoiiald 
overshadowed all his colleagues during his life-time, and 
prevented them from showing to the full extent their 
capacity for leadership. Still we have no doubt that the 
deceased had in him the making of an excellent premier, 


one who would have inspired the public with confidence, 
and ventured on no scheme which he regarded as danger- 
ous. He was an excellent speaker, clear, forcible and 
convincing, and there was much in his voice and manner 
to attract an audience. His lucid exposition of financial 
questions was a strong point in his career as a public man,, 
and gave his speeches a character of their own. 

" It is greatly to the honor of Sir Leonard Tilley that no 
scandal public or private was ever attached to his name. 
A consistent temperance man to the end of his life, he 
was faithful to the cause which he had espoused when he 
was young, and he enjoyed the confidence and received 
the steady support of a vast majority of the tem- 
perance men of the province, who looked upon him as 
their natural leader. His capacity for friendship was 
great and his friends might be numbered by thousands, 
for he had a peculiar faculty of strongly attracting men 
to himself. This may be ascribed in part to the magnet- 
ism of a buoyant and strong nature, but it was more 
largely due to the extreme simplicity of his character,, 
which remained wholly unspoiled by the favors which 
fortune had showered upon him. No man, however 
humble, had any difficulty in obtaining an interview with 
Sir Leonard Tilley, he was every inch a gentleman, and 
was, therefore, as polite to the poorest laborer as to the 
richest in the land. Such a man could not fail to be 
loved even by those who had been his most bitter oppon- 
ents in former years, when he was in active political life. 

When Sir Leonard Tilley began his public career 
political conflicts were conducted with a degree of personal 


acrimony which is wholly unknown at the present day. 
There was a bitterness injected into election campaigns 
which does not now exist. In his time he received and 
gave many hard blows, and many hard things were said 
of him. But for several years past Sir Leonard Tilley 
enjoyed the affectionate regard of thousands of those who 
have been his political opponents. He had a pleasant 
word and a kindly smile for all, and he passed before the 
eyes of man as one deserving of the highest honor for his. 
unsullied character, and for the services which lie had 
rendered to his country. 

" It is one of the drawbacks of this human life that 
the wise, the learned, the good, and those whom we most 
love and honor grow old and feeble, fall by the wayside 
and pass away. So while we lament the death of Sir 
Leonard Tilley, we must recognize it as an event that was 
inevitable, and which could not long have been postponed. 
His life work was done ; his labors were ended ; his active 
and brilliant career was closed ; he was but waiting for 
that dread summons which sooner or later must come to 
all. The summons has come and he has gone from among 
us for ever. His venerable, noble face will no longer be 
seen on our streets, his kindly greeting will no longer be 
heard. But his memory will live, not ony in the hearts of 
all his countrymen, but enshrined in the history of this 
his native province, and of the great dominion which he 
did so much to create, and which he so fondly loved." 
The St. John Sun, in commenting on his death, said : 
" While Sir Leonard Tilley had a large part in all the 


public events of his time, his name will be associated 
with three or four ' striking chapters of British American 

" Sir Leonard was hardly one of the chief actors in the 
establishment of responsible government in this province. 
But the conflict was not settled when he became a prom- 
inent member of the assembly, and he afterwards did his 
part in securing full control for the representatives of the 

" Sir Leonard will be remembered as the chief pro- 
moter of the only general prohibitory liquor law which 
has yet been adopted by any organized British colony in 
America. This law was almost the first achievement of 
the young legislator. It was hastily enacted at a time 
when similar legislation was passed in New England. 
The system was swept away a few months later, carrying 
the Tilley government, and Mr. Tilley's seat with it. 
Had the government taken more care to provide the 
machinery for enforcement, or the people and the governor 
given the experiment a more thorough test, the public of 
to-day might have been able to build a safer argument on 
this piece of history. Sir Leonard never wavered in his 
temperance principles, but thirty years after he introduced 
prohibition in this province, he told the house of com- 
mons that he would never again support prohibitory 
legislation unless he saw a way to its satisfactory enforce- 

" While the events mentioned were incidents in the 
history of a province, Sir Leonard's share in the great 


work of Confederation presents him as a statesman of a 
more imperial quality. The province, like Nova Scotia, 
had not been educated up to the idea of a British 
American union. There was a natural reluctance to 
surrender local autonomy, and the mass of the people 
could not realize the higher possibilities that union 
involved. Sir Leonard returned from the Quebec confer- 
ence to find public sentiment against the project. He 
and his government were defeated. But with the help 
of Mr. Mitchell and other confederates he set to work 
arguing the case all over the province. One year of such 
work gave him a mandate of the people to go forward. 
Sir Leonard was one of those who drafted the financial 
part of the union scheme. After the union, when Nova 
Scotia was in the throes of a wild agitation for repeal, 
Sir Leonard Tilley, as the old friend and comrade of Mr. 
Howe, was the intermediary who prepared for the meeting 
of Mr. Howe and Premier Macdonald of the dominion. 
The result of the negotiations was a re-adjustment of the 
financial terms and the acceptance by Mr. Howe of a 
place in Sir John Macdonald's cabinet. Sir Leonard is 
almost the last of the fathers who met in London to 
complete the work of the conference. He leaves only 
four survivors of the Westminster gathering. 

" In the organization of the dominion Sir Leonard Tilley 
was one of the chiefs. In the preparation and perfecting 
of the National Policy he was the chief. As finance 
minister it was his duty to prepare, submit, defend and 
operate the National Policy tariff. While the policy was 


introduced as a Canadian system in 1879, it is interesting 
to note that just 30 years before this time, Mr. Tilley, 
then making his first appearance as a factor 'in New 
Brunswick politics, came forward as an advocate of tariff 
protection to local industries. Two years later, when he 
became a member of the assembly, he voted for protective 
duties, and when after his brief retirement he came to- 
the front in 1854 as a minister, he brought in a schedule 
of duties with a distinctly protective tendency. New 
Brunswick was a small community with a limited indus- 
trial range, and the scope of the system was much nar- 
rower than that adopted in 1879 for the whole dominion. 
Sir Leonard's business experience, habits of personal 
investigation, great industry, almost limitless patience r 
and above all, his saving common sense and freedom 
from purely speculative theories, qualified him for the 
great task of revolutionizing the whole system of Canadian 
customs duties. 

" Mention should be made of Sir Leonard's share in 
railway development. This also takes us back to the 
beginning of his career, for he was one of the promoters 
of our first railway, before he was elected to the 
assembly. As provincial secretary he was in England 
with Mr. Howe on railway business long before confed- 
eration. If St. John was tardy in forgiving him for 
allowing the Intercolonial to be constructed by the North 
Shore route, that was because St. John does not always 
see the difficulties that stand in the way of her repre- 
sentatives. It would hardly have been wise for Sir 


Leonard to retire from public life because he was unable 
to control three-fourths of his colleagues, backed up by 
the whole imperial government. A quarter of a century 
has brought many changes, including a railway by a 
shorter route to the west than any that were then dreamed 
of, and another by the route that St. John first favored. 
The St. John representative who dared to think that a 
railway might be constructed from this city to Shediac, 
lived to promote the railway connection of the two great 
oceans by a line across the continent." 

The St. John Gazette, <on the eve of his death, said : 
"There is dying in St. John to-day a man, who more 
than any other in the province, has filled the public eye 
for the past half a century. That man is Sir Leonard 
Tilley, twice governor of the province, for many years a 
member of the privy council of Canada, filling the most 
important offices in the Dominion, and prior to that a 
member of the council of New Brunswick. Sir Leonard 
Tilley was a farmer's son. Born in Gagetown, he came 
to this city, served an apprenticeship as a druggist, and 
when a comparatively young man was started in public 
life, more by the wish of his friends than from any desire 
of his own. When Sir Leonard Tilley entered upon his 
political career, the province was without railroads, and 
struggling for responsible government. The part taken 
by Sir Leonard Tilley in the struggle for responsible 
government is one that every son of New Brunswick and 
every true friend of government by the people should 
remember him, and no man played a more important part 


in the railroad building epoch of the country than did 
Sir Leonard Tilley. It was a gigantic enterprise which 
the government of New Brunswick undertook in those 
days, when the European & North American" railroad was 
started. The line was not very long, but railroads cost 
very much more to build per mile than they do now. Sir 
Leonard has lived to witness the completion of the line 
through Canadian territory from ocean to ocean. Where 
the journey to Montreal by land was a most difficult one> 
a tourist can now board the train at North Sydney, the 
most easterly point of Nova Scotia, and ride on practically 
without leaving the train until he reaches Vancouver, on 
the shores of the Pacific. In the Confederation struggle 
which united the four separate provinces of Canada, Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, and also the Canadas into 
one Dominion, Sir Leonard Tilley played a most import- 
ant part. He was one of the original commissioners who 
formulated the scheme, and he was also a member of the 
government of the Dominion. The area covered by 
Canada in 1867 was comparatively small compared with 
the area of to-day. The Great Lakes formed its western 
boundary, and the great northern country, which is to 
supply food for the millions of Europe, was then all 
unknown. In the purchase of the Hudson Bay territory 
and the construction of the Canadian Pacific railroad, 
through which that territory was made known to the 
world, Sir Leonard Tilley was one of the chief actors. 
It was he that at that time held the purse strings of 
Canada, and it was his financial ability, more than that of 


any other man, which pulled through this great enter- 
prise, which now connects each section of the Dominion. 
Failing health compelled the retirement of Sir Leonard 
from active politics about ten years ago. Up to two years 
ago he was governor of the province. Since then his 
life has been a very tranquil one. In fine weather his 
figure was a familiar one on the streets of St. John, and 
to young and old whom he knew, he always had a pleas- 
ant greeting. He is a man who will be greatly missed 
in the community, and his place is not likely to be filled 
for years to come. He has survived most of his old col- 
leagues of the early days of Confederation, of whom 
from the Maritime Provinces there are only now surviving 
Sir Charles Tupper and the Hon. Peter Mitchell. Sir 
Charles in the midst of the election, yesterday, sent a 
very touching letter to his old friend and colleague." 
The St. John Globe said : 

" As the contest which has agitated the people for so 
many weeks is closing, the sunlight falls probably on the 
last days of the life of a public man of much influence 
in this province. Sir Leonard Tilley's public career, 
which began in 1850, ended in 1893 with his retirement 
from the Governorship, a position which he had twice 
filled. Since then he has lived a quiet, but by no means 
inactive life in St. John. He has been interested in 
business affairs and has not been wholly indifferent to 
public matters, for, had his health permitted, he would 
have entered upon some of the active work of the cam- 
paign in the interest of the party with which he has 


acted since Confederation. But the feelings of favor or 
disfavor with which his political views were regarded 
have given way to the feeling of respect which is ever 
accorded to an excellent citizen. Sir Leon'ard Tilley has 
retained the warm regard of all his old political friends 
and associates, while the citizens generally, the older 
generation of those who fought many a battle for or with 
him, the younger generation who know him not as a 
politician, have been glad to see him about the streets, 
enjoying the honors which he won and the respect which 
all well-ordered people yield to a man who has borne his 
fair share of the struggles and conflicts of life, and who 
has been a victor in many things." 

The St. John Record said : 

" When it was announced this morning that Sir Samuel 
Leonard Tilley had laid down his life and had passed 
away by death the citizens felt that a great calamity had 
happened this city, province and dominion. His public 
career, great and brilliant as it certainly was, did not 
appeal to the people so much to-day, as the great motiveu 
that actuated and shone forth in his private everyday life. 
* It is as a private citizen that St. John loved 
him best, because then he was virtually her own as a 
public man we had to divide our claim on him with all 
the other provinces of Canada. When at Ottawa he was 
our representative and theirs; in his home here he was 
our own a lover of the city that he had done so much 
to extend and benefit. So it is to this fact we allude 
when we say that all looked upon his death as a calamity. 


It is true that a wise man in the councils of the nation 
has gone ; but this sinks to insignificance when we con- 
sider that death has borne out from our midst one who 
was the particular friend of all our citizens. It was 
thought that having laid aside the trials and turmoils of 
public duty he would have been spared for some years 
yet to enjoy the harvest time of a life well lived, but it 
was not to be ; but it is a consolation to know that the 
man who has gone out from us was a direct contradiction 
of that saying that an honest man is not to be found in 
politics. His success was due to his persistent and 
uncompromising perseverence. When he believed that 
he was right, he allowed no danger to daunt nor difficulty 
to deter his reaching the necessary and expected consum- 
mation ; and this trait of his character was well exempli- 
fied in busiriess as in political affairs. He went direct to 
the mark, in an honest and courteous way, thus changing 
opponents to supporters and enemies to friends." 


In the preceding chapters I have been considering the 
career of Sir Leonard Tilley as a public man, a statesman, 
and a man of affairs. But it would be a grave error to 
suppose that the whole strength of his nature was at all 
times devoted to matters of state, or that he in any way 


allowed public affairs to interfere with that home life 
which is always the truest source of happiness. So far 
was this from being the case that Sir Leonard Tilley was 
essentially a domestic man. He was at his best in his 
own study or by his own fireside. He loved his family 
and his friends, and it was one of his chief delights in 
his later years to gather the friends of his youth about 
him and discuss with them the happy events of bygone 
days. His memory was so good and his faculties so keen 
that the whole picture of his life spread before him like 
a panorama, and he lived it over again many times in a 
mental sense. He had a wealth of ancedote in regard to 
the public men whom he met in the earlier days of his 
active life, and a keen sense of humor which gave point 
and character to his reminiscences of those times. Once 
more the actors on the stage of life of thirty or forty 
years ago lived as he recalled the scenes in which 
he and th^y had taken part. His eye would brighten 
and his whole form become instinct with life as he related 
the story of other years. 

When Sir Leonard Tilley came to reside in St. John in 
1888, after Carleton House, his new residence, was com- 
pleted, his desire to have his old friends about him caused 
him to hunt up alt the members of the old Portland 
Debating Society, to which he had belonged when a young 
man, and to invite them to dinner once a year. The first 
dinner was attended by about fourteen persons, among 
whom were the late Sheriff Harding, the late Joseph W. 
Lawrence, and the late John Sears. For two or three 


years their meetings were cheerful enough, but death soon 
began to make inroads upon the survivors. Every year 
the number of guests was smaller than it had been the 
year before, and much of the conversation was of those 
who had passed from earth since the last meeting. 
Finally the survivors became so few that two or three 
years before Sir Leonard Tilley's own death the dinner 
was given up, as something better calculated to awaken 
sad feelings than to give pleasure. 

Sir Leonard Tilley, throughout his whole life gave 
great attention to his religious duties. He was a devoted 
member of the Church of England, and his attendance at 
church was constant and regular. For several years 
before his death he was connected with St. Mark's con- 
gregation, and no cause, except severe bodily illness, was 
ever allowed to prevent him from going to church on 
Sunday morning. On many occasions, when hia steps 
had grown feeble and his strength was failing, it was 
suggested to him that he should drive to church, but h-3 
always replied that he would walk to church as long as 
he had strength left to do so, and that he would not have 
people harnessing up horses on the Sabbath day on his 
account. This resolution he maintained to the end of his 
life. Sometimes, when he met an old acquaintance, as he 
toiled up the street which led to his favorite church, he 
would cheerfully greet him by saying, "John, this hill has 
grown steeper than it used to be," but he climbed the 
hill to the end, and the last Sunday he ^as able to be out 
of his bed he walked to church as usual. 


Sir Leonard Tilley took a deep interest in all those 
humane and philanthropic objects which were for the 
benefit of mankind and in the great work connected 
with the spread of the gospel. He was a constant at- 
tendant at the annual meetings of theBritish and Foreign 
Bible Society, and was a life member of that 
admirable association. On a very cold night in 
the winter of 1895-6 the writer met him making his way 
along Germain street, and on inquiring where he was 
going on such an inclement evening, found that he was on 
his way to attend the meeting of the society. He had 
mistaken the date, for the meeting did not take place for 
a fortnight, but that he should go abroad in such weather 
to be present at this annual gathering, shows how much 
he was interested in its work. 

The honors that Sir Leonard Tilley received from Her 
Majesty, in recognition of his great public services, were 
very gratifying to his friends as well as to himself, and 
when he was made a Knight Commander of St. Michael 
and St. George, in 1879, his temperance friends embraced 

the first opportunity on his return to St. John to have a 

. J O6H ! 

banquet in his honor, at which he wore, for the first time 

in public, the insignia of the knightly order of which he 
had become a member. There was probably no public 
event in the whole course of his life which gave him 
greater pleasure than this proof of the attachment of his 
old friends. 

Sir Leonard's last visit to England was marked by an 
extremely gracious invitation to visit the Queen at 


Osborne, in the Isle of Wight. While he and Lady Tille v 
were sojourning at Cowes a message was sent sum- 
moning them to Osborne House, where they were received 
by Her Majesty in the beautiful grounds that surround 
that palace. The Princess Louise and Princess Beatrice, 
with an equerry in waiting, were the only persons pres- 
ent. After an interesting conversation they were per- 
mitted to visit the private apartments of Her Majesty 
and the Prince Consort's farm. A remark was made by 
the equerry that the honor was a very great one, as few 
persons in England had the opportunity that had been 
given to them that day. Of course both Sir Leonard and 
Lady Tilley replied that the honor was highly appreciated 
and would never be forgotten. During their stay in 
London they were entertained by the Prince of Wales at 
Marlborough House. These occurrences made that visit 
to England a memorable one, but the foreshadowing was 
already that it would be the last. 

Sir Leonard Tilley was first married in 1843 to Julia 
Ann. daughter of the late James T. Hanford, who died in 
1862. By her he had seven children, two sous and five 
daughters. His oldest son, the Rev. Harrison Tilley, who 
died in 1877, was, at the time of his death, assistant 
minister to the cathedral at Toronto. He had been previ- 
ously rector of Grace Church, London, Ont., and had also 
been rector of St. Luke's church, Portland, the church 
which Sir Leonard attended when he first came to St. 
John. He was a man of singularly amiable character 
and -much ability, and his early death was deeply regretted 


by the entire community, which recognized in him one 
who gave great promise of future usefulness. The 
other son of this marriage, Mr. L. A. Tilley, is a resident 
ot Sherbrooke, 1*. Q., where he is engaged in business. 
His eldest daughter, who was the wife of Mr. A. F. 
Street, of Fredericton, died in 1894. The other daughters 
are : Mrs. W. H. De Wolfe, of Chilliwack, B. C.j Mrs. 
Thomas Burpee, of Winnipeg ; Mrs. J. 1"). Chipman, of 
St. Stephen, and Miss Julia Tilley, of Toronto. 

In J867, after being a widower for several years, Sir 
Leonard Tilley married Alice Starr, daughter of the late 

,<;*<! ^o (>I-V Po>/ wit 

Z. Chipman, of St. Stephen. By this marriage he had 
two sons, Mr. Herbert C. Tilley, of the Imperial Trust 
Company, who resides in St. John, and Mr. L. P. DeWolfe 
Tilley, barrister, who is also a resident of St. John. 
These two sons, Herbert and Leonard, were the prop and 
comfort of his declining years, and were devoted wholly 
to him to the end. 

Sir Leonard Tilley's second marriage was contracted at 
the time when he was exchanging the limited field of 
provincial politics for the wider sphere which Confedera- 
tion opened up to him in the Parliament of Canada. It 
was a fortunate union, for it gave him a helpmeet and 
companion who was in full sympathy with him in all his. 
hopes and feelings, and who was singularly well qualified 
to preside over his household, which, in his capacity of a 
minister of the crown, had become to a considerable 
extent a factor in the public life of Canada. Lady Tilley 
had a high ideal of her duty as the wife of a cabinet 


minister, and of the governor of New Brunswick, and 
was not content to lead a merely ornamental life or con- 
fine her energies within a narrow range. She saw many 
deficiencies in our appliances for relieving human misery, 
and she set to work, with a zeal which could not be 
dampened, to seek to remedy them. The Victoria Hospital 
at Fredericton is her work ; hers also is the Nurses' 
Home in connection with the Public Hospital in St. John, 
and the Eeformatory for the care of bad or neglected 
boys, who are in danger of becoming criminals if they are 
not educated and desciplined when they are young. In 
every work of philanthropy Lady Tilley has always taken 
not only an active, but a leading part, and her position 
has enabled her to enlist in the cause of humanity the 
energies of many who, under other circumstances, might 
not have taken an active part in philanthropic work. 
Lady Til ley kas, therefore, been not only a source of 
good in herself, but a moving cause of good to others 
who, but for her, might not have enjoyed the blessed 
consciousness of having done something to benefit man- 
kind. Carleton House, to which he removed in 1888, 
and in which he died, was named after Carleton, where he 
always had a strong support, and where he remained on 
election days until all the returns came in with their mes- 
sage of victory or defeat. Sir Leonard intended it to be 
his home for the remainder of his life, but as he continued 
to be governor the house was found to be too small for 
the proper accommodation of those whom he wished to 
entertain in his official capacity. An addition to it, con- 


sisting of a large dining room, was consequently built. 
The first persons to dine in it were the Earl and Countess 
of Derby, then governor general of Canada. Afterwards 
Sir John A. Macdonald and Lady Macdonald, Sir John 
Thompson, and the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen and 
Sir Charles and Lady Tupper were the guests of Sir 
Leonard and Lady Tilley at Carleton House. Thus this 
building, although still new, is already fragrant with 
pleasant memories, and half a century hence it will be 
one of the city's most notable landmarks, and will be 
called "Old Carleton House." where Sir Leonard Tilley 
lived and died. 


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